Cleary Law LLC

Who Are The Players Involved In The Appeals Process?


The trial lawyer may handle the appeal but often they do not. Practicing trial law is different than practicing appellate law. Once the appeal is filed, the SC attorney general represents the prosecution. A three judge panel of the SC Court of Appeals decides the appeal. Their decision may be appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court, where the entire Court hears the case and makes a decision.

What Steps Must A Person Follow To Appeal A Prior Court Conviction?

A notice of appeal must be filed within 10 days of a conviction. This is routinely filed by the trial lawyer in virtually every case. This is a strict deadline that cannot be waived. If a person is indigent, and most people in prison are, they will be represented by the SC Commission on Indigent Defense’s Division of Appellate Defense. They have a team of lawyers who handle a large majority of criminal appeals in South Carolina. If a person has the resources to hire a private attorney, they need to do so very quickly. There are deadlines that must be followed, including ordering the trial transcript and submitting the written briefs.

What Factors Will Lead To An Appellate Court Reversing A Decision?

Their decision is based on whether the judge made legal errors. Persuasive writing and oral argument also play a role. In addition, conventional wisdom says that bad facts (e.g. gruesome facts, particularly egregious actions) make bad law. That is, the Court cannot help but be subconsciously influenced by bad facts even though they aren’t. Also, there is a concept called harmless error. That is where the Court may find the judge made a legal error but finds that the person would have been convicted any way.

If A Party Loses Their Appellate Court Case, Are There Further Steps They Can Take?

If there are issues of federal law, the case may be appealed to the federal courts.

Does The Filing Of An Appeal Automatically Stay Execution Of Judgment?

Filing of an appeal does not automatically stay execution of judgment.

Does Someone Remain In Jail/Prison while Their Appeal Is Heard Or Can They Remain Out On Bond?

They generally remain in prison or jail if time was given and they remain under conviction. In extraordinary circumstances, an appeal bond may be granted.

How Long Does An Appeal Take?

An appeal can take two or more years.

What Makes Your Firm Unique In How You Handle Appeals?

I handled state appeals for eight years at the Division of Appellate Defense and I have successfully represented people in appellate courts since I went into private practice in 2008. Appellate advocacy is a specialized area of law and it cannot be done without training and experience.

We also handle post-conviction relief cases and appeals from summary courts. Summary court appeals (like DUI cases) are held before the Court of Common Pleas and are handled similarly to appeals to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

For more information on Players In The Appeals Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (803) 310-5796 today.

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