Opinion Regional

Factors to consider when choosing an appeal lawyer for your criminal case

You hire an appeal lawyer when you feel that your claim was not appropriately adjudicated at trial. The lawyer takes the case to a superior court to prove that you didn’t get a fair trial.

Thus, you can’t afford to get the wrong attorney. So, here are the factors to consider when choosing an appeal lawyer for your criminal case.

  1. Experience as an appellate attorney

It takes a particular set of skills to win an appeal as compared to a trial. Hence, the experience is the key to winning. During the trial, your lawyer presents evidence before the jury to prove your innocence. 

However, in the case of an appeal, your lawyer will try to convince judges in another court that your trial was unfair. 

Therefore, you need to choose an attorney who knows how to win an appeal in court. Since appeals are like debates, you want someone who thinks outside the box.

  1. Personality

It’s easy to like someone with a pleasant personality. Issues on appeal can be sensitive. 

The lawyer you choose is going to convince judges to look at your case from a new perspective. He will want them to see errors made by fellow judges or the jury at trial.

Hence, it would be best if you had someone that feels the room with a pleasant aura. Someone that draws attention quickly and chooses his words wisely. Otherwise, everything might go south.

Speaking of personality, get an attorney that works well with others. In case you need a different expert from the one you had at trial, the two lawyers must be able to work as a team.

  1. Communication skills

You might wonder why communication skills are among the factors to consider when choosing an appeal lawyer for your criminal case. Well, you must have witnessed a debate at least once in your life. 

You know the importance of articulating your points well in a debate. Hence, appeal lawyers must possess excellent public speaking skills. It’s not easy convincing a judge that a fellow judge was unfair to you.

  1. A fresh set of eyes

Whoever represented you during the trial did a great job, and you might be tempted to proceed with him to the next level. However, you should get a new one to handle your appeal case.

You need a fresh set of eyes to find grounds for appeal. Perhaps critical evidence was left out, or some parts of the evidence should not have been used. Probably if the case was argued a different way, the system would have favored you.

No matter how much you love and trust your first lawyer, consider getting a new set of skills for the appeal. It could be within the same firm, though.

  1. Appellate attorney fees

The legal process can be costly. It would help if you made sure that the person you choose is within your price range. 

  1. Integrity

Get someone known for decency. Attorney-client confidentiality is paramount in every case. Your expert should be committed to helping you win; thus, he has to have your best interest at heart.

  1. Conflict of interest

Lastly, ensure you do your research well to ensure that there’s no conflict of interest between your team of lawyers and the prosecution. That can stand in the way of justice.


You have the right to appeal your case. You should know the factors to consider when choosing an appeal lawyer for your criminal case since you intend to win. Don’t fear interviewing attorneys to get the one who will represent you well. It’s your life.

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