Appellate Attorneys

After you are convicted of a crime in a trial court, you still have the right to appeal your conviction to an appellate court. Such appeals are “on the record” meaning that the appeals judges will review the arguments you make on appeal based on the pleadings filed in your case and transcripts of the trial. They will not consider new evidence on appeal.

Are you looking for an attorney to appeal a conviction from a Maryland state or Federal matter? At Houlon Berman, our Appellate team, consisting of Richard A. Finci, Jennifer Mayer and Jeremy Feldman have over 30 years of experience handling appeals from all of the counties in Maryland including Prince George’s, Montgomery and the United States District Court for Maryland as well as the District of Columbia.

While each of the appellate courts in which we practice have individual local rules and procedures which must be followed, generally, appeals must be noted timely or they will not be heard. Under Maryland Rules, your appeal must be noted within 30 days of your sentencing and under Federal Rules within 14 days. A transcript of the hearings being appealed must be ordered immediately and certain Docketing Statements prepared. Then, a record extract of all of the proceedings must be prepared and sent to the Appeals court. At that point, a briefing schedule will be circulated and briefs containing the legal arguments as to why the trial court erred and a new trial or other relief should be granted must be written and filed. An example of a brief previously prepared here at Houlon Berman may be reviewed here: DC Appeal, Maryland Appeal Brief, Redacted Federal Appeal Brief

In most cases, the appeals court will then schedule oral arguments. If the case was being heard in the Maryland Court of Appeals, the argument will be held in Annapolis before all 7 of the judges appointed to that Court by the Governor. If before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals or the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, argument will be held before a panel of 3 judges of those Courts.

Oral Argument is limited in time. In the Maryland Court of Appeals you get 30 minutes, and in other appeals court you get 15-20 minutes. An experienced attorney will prepare an argument focusing on the strongest part of the case. But the Judges will ask questions and immediately redirect the argument and an attorney must be ready to answer those questions in a way that convinces the panel of judges that the appeal should be granted.

It takes the appeals court some time to write an opinion. Sometimes those opinions are published and become legal precedent for other cases and other times the issues are decided and applied to the case at hand only.

If you have an appeal you are pursuing in Maryland State court, Federal Court of the District of Columbia and wish to have expert, experienced appellate attorneys on your side, schedule an appointment for a free consultation with a member of our appellate team at Houlon Berman.

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