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Common Mistakes of Family Lawyers in Appeals Court

Posted on in Family Law

St. Charles family lawer

When a party involved in a family law case receives an unfavorable decision from the court, they can appeal the ruling. When you have initial conversations with prospective family lawyers for your case, make sure you discuss their knowledge and aptitude regarding the appeals process, which could be critical if that step becomes necessary. 

There are a few common mistakes litigators can make. It is helpful for even skilled and experienced lawyers to review these points as a refresher. Here are some areas to cover with your lawyer so that together you can craft the best possible strategy to achieve a favorable result.

Make an Offer of Proof

If the court decides not to allow certain evidence that is essential to prove your case, your lawyer must make an offer of proof to defend the importance of that evidence. An offer of proof is a short but descriptive statement that identifies specific pieces of evidence and their importance as they relate to the case. Under the Evidence Code, a party’s failure to make an offer of proof waives their right to appeal based on the erroneous exclusion of evidence. An offer of proof can establish prejudice due to the exclusion of evidence because it states on the record what the evidence would have provided.

Request that Court Rulings are in the Transcript

Ask your attorney to make sure the court reporter is stating all transcripts on the record. It is not uncommon for the court to make its final ruling in chambers, especially if the proceedings are more informal than a traditional court. If your case goes to appeals, it will be helpful to know everything is already on the record. 

Order Transcripts Immediately After Court

When your court case is over, ask your lawyer to immediately obtain the order for your transcript. If you wait until your case goes into appeals, and that particular court reporter leaves their job for any reason, the court transcripts may be difficult to obtain.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Attorney

When involved in a divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, or paternity case, it is crucial you have a skilled and diligent legal team on your side.  A Geneva divorce lawyer from the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC is ready to fight for the outcome you deserve, including any decision that must be appealed due to an unjust previous decision. For help, call us today at 847-428-7725 to set up a free initial consultation. 

Source:

https://www.law.com/therecorder/2019/04/10/on-appeals-7-tips-for-family-lawyers-to-avoid-giving-appellate-counsel-a-heart-attack/

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