Successful Appeals from a Family Court Ruling Require Three Conditions
By Florida Family Law Appeals Attorney Eduardo J. Mejias
Practicing Exclusively Family Law Since 2011
AAA Family Law Can Represent You In Appeals Anywhere In Florida
Conditions Required for a Successful Family Law Appeal
There are three conditions required for a successful family law appeal case: (1) having adequate records of the family court case, (2) having errors in the final judgment and (3) having an appellate attorney that can find them.
(1) Adequate Family Court Record
Ideally, the appellate client possesses a transcript of the family court trial or at least the means to obtain it. The trial transcript records all of the testimony and evidence that was presented in the family court. So it allows a family law attorney to scrutinize the case and point to the family court judge’s legal and factual errors to the appellate court. Without this transcript, the appellate court can only reverse the misinterpretations of law that are apparent from the final judgment itself. Achieving such a reversal without a transcript is likely only when the judgment is written in a comprehensive and detailed form.
(2) Legal and Factual Errors In The Judgment
An unfavorable family court judgment does not necessarily translate into one that can be successfully appealed. Even with the aid of a transcript, an appellate court will not reverse a well-reasoned and legally sound ruling. In fact, I tell my potential appellate clients that, unless I can detect at least one blatantly wrong factual conclusion, and one legal error, the judgment is not worth appealing; because the worst possible outcome for my clients is to spend the time and money on the it and lose the case.
Fortunately, trial judges often commit more than just one identifiable errors. However, not every Florida family law attorney can consistently unearth judicial errors, particularly the legal ones. This is where the next condition becomes important.
(3) A Family Law Appeals Attorney That Can Find the Legal and Factual Errors
Many legal errors are subtle, but nonetheless reversible. For example, I once worked on a an appeal of a final divorce judgment in Florida that contained one particularly erroneous provision. While this provision was suspect of being in error, it was not immediately obvious what made it legally wrong. Once I had an opportunity to read it in the context of the entire judgment, I immediately thought of three ways that it violated statutory or case law. And, after about thirty minutes of research, I discovered two more legal errors contained within it. Basically, I gave the appellate court five reasons to overturn this dubious ruling
Obviously, the more legal errors your appellate attorney discovers, the better the chances that your appeal will succeed in overturning the relevant family court decision.
How We Can Help
My prospective appellate clients frequently ask me what my “batting average” is for the cases that I have appealed. The answer is that the majority have been successful. This is owed as much to choosing which have the best chance of success as it is to being able to convince the appellate court that the family court's final judgment contains errors.
As a family lawyer that has also drafted appeals since 2011, I can best judge the quality of the trial records and uncover any legal errors that your family court judge made. Therefore I can give you the best advice on whether to proceed with the appeal and the best chance of success in overturning the errors in the family court's ruling.
If you are considering appealing the final judgment of your case, call AAA Family Law at (407) 260-6001 and schedule an initial consultation. At the consultation I will listen to your explanation of your case and the reasons you are considering an appeal. Then I will give you my assessment of how likely it is to succeed, either at the consultation or later after I do some research, depending on the nature of the case. I will also quote you a fixed or flat attorney retainer fee, not an hourly rate whose total cost is unpredictable.
At AAA Family Law attorney retainer fees for appeals cases have the following ranges, depending of the complexity of the case:
Appeals of final orders: $3,900 to $6,000
Appeals of non-final orders: $2,400 to $4,800
For more information of our retainer fees see Family Lawyer Retainer Fees.
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