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Appellate Law Overview

Our team of experienced appellate lawyers stand ready to assist businesses and individuals in litigating their disputes at the appellate level.  Our team of appellate lawyers have experience litigating appeals in the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals.  We have vast experience in appealing matters in a wide variety of practice areas, including, but not limited to, commercial and business disputes, land use, and family law (including custody, property division, child support, relocation, alimony awards and prenuptial agreements).  We have appealed numerous criminal matters and have argued issues of suppression, trial errors, ineffective assistance of counsel and sentencing errors on State and Federal levels.

 Be advised, appealing the decision of a lower court and/or administrative agency is the subject of strict time frame limitations.  This time frame, generally, is 30 days from the decision of the trial court or lower tribunal.   

Appellate cases generally involve three legal briefs, all of which must contain citations to cases and statutory or other legal authorities. Briefs must also contain proper citations to the designated appellate record. First, the appellant files an opening brief with the court of appeals. This brief must explain the factual and procedural history of the case, in a neutral fashion, and then state how the trial court erred and why the appellate court should reverse the ruling. The “appellee” – sometimes called the “respondent” – then files a responsive brief with the appellate court. Like the opening brief, this response should also neutrally explain the factual and procedural history, followed by argument that the trial court was correct and the ruling should not be reversed. Finally, the appellant then has an opportunity to file a reply brief. In the reply, the appellant can argue against the claims made in the appellee’s responsive brief, but is not permitted to introduce any new legal arguments. The reply must only address statements made in the responsive brief.

Typically, after the briefs are filed, a panel of appellate court judges will hear oral argument, which can take place anywhere from a few months to a year or more after the appeal is filed, depending on the court. However, some courts will decide cases based solely on the briefs, without hearing oral argument. The appellate panel will issue a written opinion stating their decision and the reasoning behind it. At the court’s discretion, the opinion may be published in the official reports and become binding authority over future cases. The timing of this written opinion varies, but is generally a period of several months.

Contact us to discuss your appellate issues.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The receipt or viewing of this information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.



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| Phone: 603-668-8300

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The receipt or viewing of this information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.