It was recently reported that a famous ex-television star lost an appeal in his case. The man is accused of sexual-assault, and now is being prosecuted. But several years ago the same ex-television star reportedly had an agreement with a prior prosecutor in the area that he would not face prosecution. This allowed him to enter into a civil settlement with the alleged victim and at the same time avoid criminal consequences.
Now, several years later, a new prosecutor has filed charges to beat the statute of limitations and fulfill several campaign promises. This new prosecution flies in the face of the prior agreement, and the ex-television star asked the judge to stop the prosecution. The man lost the petition to the judge, and so appealed that decision. The judge, however denied the man’s attempt to appeal his previous order, and now the case has to go forward.
Non-Final vs. Final Orders
This case creates an interesting question of when and in what cases can a person file an appeal before a case is over. Typically, an appellate court is tasked with reviewing the record and rulings from a trial court. In that review, an appellate court will decide whether any mistakes were made. If mistakes were made, the appellate court will decide whether those mistakes affected the actual outcome of the case. The standard for reversal is quite high, and over 90% of cases are confirmed on appeal.
What happens when a trial court’s ruling has a final or the potential to adversely affect the outcome of the case, a person can make what is known as an interlocutory appeal. Of course not every ruling a trial judge makes can be appealed. This would truly muck up the trial process, and a case would never get to a verdict because there would be so many appeals made during the course of a trial. However, there are some moments, like a summary judgement ruling, or ruling to dismiss a case are entered that a party can appeal. Or an order that substantially affects the final outcome of a case may be appealed.
Understanding the Trial Process
Every rule and process that goes into a case is very complicated. That is why lawyers spend three years in law school learning the legal basics. Learning does not stop after law school for lawyers, they spend their entire career learning new things about the law, and fulfilling mandatory continuing legal education courses. This is why experience is so valuable in choosing an attorney to represent you in your claim.
At The Pittman Firm, Mr. Pittman has been representing clients in accident and injury cases for decades. His career has been dedicated to helping victims of negligence, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and more recover for the their injuries. That experience is invaluable to his clients. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact us. Let us put our experience to work for you.
See related blog posts: Why Florida is One of the Worst States to Get in a Car Accident; Why Contingency Fees Benefit You.