Our team's vast appellate experience in family law spans everything from research to advocacy, and we can't wait to put our collective knowledge to work for you.
What We Do
An unfavorable trial court decision doesn’t have to be the end of your case. At ZFL, we give your family law case new life by providing dynamic appellate services to both our clients and other attorneys who want help reversing a trial court’s judgment or supporting its conclusion by defending against an appeal filed by the opposing party. Whatever your needs may be, we have the research skills and appellate advocacy experience to strategically represent you to the higher courts when it matters most.
We handle appeals related to a variety of complex issues — from jurisdictional challenges (pursuant to the UCCJEA) to child custody and access, child support, spousal support, premarital or postmarital agreement, property division, attorneys' fee awards, and more.
The Purpose of an Appeal
When a trial court doesn’t rule in your favor the first time around, an appeal can be filed to ask that a higher court reconsider and possibly reverse the decision. Alternatively, sometimes litigants are put in the position of defending the trial court’s ruling when their opposing party is unhappy and files their own appeal. The appellate court will start by reviewing the records and may even hear oral arguments to determine if the trial judge made a legal error that affected the final decision. Keep in mind that the appellate court will not accept new evidence or listen to new witnesses, as an appeal is not a re-trial of your case.
Important Factors That Impact Your Appeal
01. Timing is Everything
In the world of appeals, timing is paramount. Over the years, numerous appeals have been tossed out or disregarded entirely because a lawyer or appellant failed to comply with the strict deadlines outlined. As soon as you receive an adverse ruling and begin contemplating an appeal, we recommend seeking the advice of a qualified appellate attorney immediately so they can advise you on the important deadlines and considerations to keep in mind.
Here’s What an Appeal Entails:
- First, the transcripts must be ordered, while evidence, pleadings, and motions that were presented before the trial court are compiled and transmitted to the appellate court.
- The appellate attorney must then carefully read the transcripts and conduct detailed legal research to prepare and submit a brief on the specific legal issue(s) that will be heard before the appellate court. It’s possible that the appellate court will require mediation and may even schedule oral arguments.
- Ultimately, the appellate court will issue a written response, which also takes time to prepare.
Appeals are Expensive
The financial reality of appeals is unavoidable, which is why we like to give you an idea of any associated costs up-front. To start, the appellant (person filing the appeal) is responsible for payment of the transcript and any work needed to prepare the record extract. Since appeals are an advanced area of legal practice, the effort it will take your appellate attorney to conduct the extensive legal research required and draft a compelling brief with the power to persuade a set of judges cannot be understated. And remember: This is all before your attorney ever steps foot inside a courtroom. Between the review, research, drafting, strategy, and arguments involved, appeals demand days of your appellate attorney’s time and attention, resulting in a serious monetary commitment on your behalf.
The ZFL Difference
Whether you’re an attorney seeking help with your family law appeal or a client hoping to reverse an unfavorable decision, we know just how daunting and time-consuming the appellate process might seem. That’s why we built the ZFL Appeals Division to empower both attorneys and clients to navigate their appeals with the knowledge and support necessary to yield the desired results. With extensive legal research and writing experience and a strategic approach to match, we’ll advocate for your interests every step of the way — so you can spend less time worrying about your appeal and more time living your life.
Are you an attorney interested in partnering with an Appellate Advocate? Click here for more information on the appellate services we provide for attorneys like you.
Appellate Client Testimonials
"So wonderful to hear this [has come] to an end... I can't say enough thanks to you, not only for helping me with my case, you are also a great mentor, [and influential] in my life and ultimately my children's life too."