Appeals-archive

The decision to appeal a case you lost at the trial court is a decision based on many factors.  On the other hand, you may find yourself having to defend a favorable outcome at the trial court level when your adversary chooses to appeal.  However, in either situation, your trial lawyer may have specifically excluded an appeal from the scope of his or her representation.  Our office handles both civil and criminal appeals and post-conviction challenges on a selective basis.

Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Challenges:

In the criminal justice system, convicted defendants have a number of options to challenge their conviction beyond just direct appeals, such as federal writs (habeas corpus, coram nobis) and New York CPL 440 motions.  However, these remedies are subject to very strict procedural guidelines, and require extensive review of the trial court record.  Mr. MacKay’s familiarity with federal criminal and constitutional law, as well as his judicial clerkship experience in a federal district with substantial prisoner litigation, allow him to bring a wealth of knowledge to bear on criminal appellate issues.

For the criminal defendant who has pleaded guilty or lost at trial, the sentencing phase is often the most important part of the process and the part most often subject to appeal.  That said, in federal court, the Sentencing Guidelines are complex to navigate, and a thorough knowledge of federal law is required to successfully attack proposed sentences.  Our office handles sentencing matters through independent representation of the defendant, as well as on a consultation basis with the original trial attorney.  Mr. MacKay’s efforts have resulted in substantial downward departures from Guidelines sentences in federal high-profile cases, as well as decisions to favorably depart from the onerous Three Strikes law during sentencings in California courts.

Civil Appeals:

In civil cases, certain decisions by the Court before trial are subject to interlocutory appeals, and final judgments may be subject to motions to reconsider or appeals to a higher court.  When money, rather than personal freedom, is at stake in a civil lawsuit, a thorough analysis of the possible appellate issues is needed to properly weigh the decision on whether to appeal or not.

If you are considering a possible appeal, or have suddenly found yourself in a position where you need to protect a favorable result on appeal, contact us today to discuss your options.

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