If you’ve been involved in business litigation in Utah, you know how time-consuming and stressful the legal process can be. You and your employees are expected to appear multiple times for depositions and trial and these appearances can stretch into multiple days for complex or hard-fought cases. Further, your company resources are being used to find, preserve, and redact records that serve as evidence. You meet with your attorney regularly to get updates on the status of the case. It’s no surprise that, by the time the trial is over, you’re simply ready to be done. There are, however, some situations where you may want to appeal.
What Can You Appeal?
In most situations, appeals do not happen around questions of fact. Therefore, even if you think the judge or jury got the details wrong, you often cannot appeal their decisions. Examples of fact decisions include the jury finding that an employee was intentional in causing a problem or someone was in a location they should not have been visiting.
Instead, appeals most often concern questions of law and whether the judge applied the law correctly. This includes whether he let in evidence or kept out evidence, how he gave instructions to the jury, rulings he made on motions before trial started, and any conclusions the judge came to that involve applications of law. If there’s a question of law, then you can appeal the ruling up to the appellate court and, if you’re granted review, all the way up to the state or federal supreme court. These courts will make a decision regarding the question of law and then send the case back down to the trial court. If your appeal happened after the trial and the appellate court’s change is significant, this may mean you have a completely new trial with the new ruling applied.
When Should You Appeal?
As you can imagine, an appeal can be time consuming. While the appeals court has a time frame that must be followed for submitting appeals, responses, and more, it can still take time for a question on appeal to wind its way up the different levels. There are, however, many times when an appeal can be useful.
First, if you believe the court truly made an incorrect ruling on a question of law and changing the court’s ruling would have a distinct impact on your case, then an appeal might be the only way to ensure you’re heard. An appeal before trial can help encourage a settlement, especially if the ruling on appeal is in your favor. Appeals are often a strategic decision during litigation and something your business attorney will discuss with you before pursing.
If you’re facing a business lawsuit or a contract dispute, reach out to the experienced team of litigators at the Dunn Law Firm. To learn more, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 and set up a free consultation today.