South Carolina Federal Appeals Lawyer

Whether it entails a conviction in criminal court, judgement in a civil case, or verdict on a bankruptcy filing, the decisions made in federal courtrooms have a significant impact. In the same vein, any mistake or procedural error made in a federal court can have calamitous effects on a person’s life, especially if they go unaddressed.

If you want to effectively challenge a federal court verdict that you believe was based on invalid grounds, you need help from a skilled attorney. A South Carolina federal appeals lawyer could work tirelessly on your behalf to uphold your legal rights and seek the best possible resolution for your unique situation.

Basics Steps in the Federal Appeals Process

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia hears all appeals for cases originally heard in South Carolina federal district courts, as well as in federal district courts in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. Most appeals begin with oral arguments between the appealing party’s legal counsel and a panel of judges. However, some are decided solely through a review of written briefs.

Generally, the outcome of a federal appeal cannot be challenged by the party who filed that appeal, unless that party elects to elevate their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. To do so, they must file a “writ of certiorari” asking the Supreme Court to grant them a review of their case. Generally, the Supreme Court will only consent to this in specific scenarios, such as:

  • If multiple federal appellate courts have made contrasting rulings on the matter
  • If the case concerns a particularly foundational legal principle
  • Under certain exceptional circumstances that require them by law to hear the appeal.

Who May Appeal a Federal Court Verdict?

If the defendant in a federal criminal case believes that their conviction involved a procedural error, fraud, or some other element that made it fundamentally unjust, they have the right to appeal that guilty verdict. Furthermore, both the defendant and the plaintiff (the U.S. Government) may appeal a federal sentencing decision following a guilty verdict. However, the government cannot appeal a federal criminal case that ends with a verdict of “not guilty.”

Motion to Vacate a Federal Court Case Verdict

Conversely, in civil cases heard in federal courts, either side of the claim may seek to have the court’s verdict overturned. Rather than an “appeal,” though, the appropriate course of action for civil cases is pursuing a “motion to vacate,” which may be based on a clerical error or on a number of grounds that make the court’s judgement invalid or void.

Appeals for Federal Bankruptcy Cases

Appeals in South Carolina federal bankruptcy cases also work a little differently. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is one of several that has not yet established a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel to hear these particular appeals in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §158(b). A knowledgeable lawyer in South Carolina could determine whether there is justification to pursue federal appeals depending on the circumstances of the case.

Talk to a South Carolina Federal Appeals Attorney Today

Although appeals can be crucial to ensuring a fair outcome to your federal court case, they can be difficult to pursue. It is even more challenging to get a positive result, and you must have compelling grounds to pursue one if you want a federal appellate court to hear your petition.

Fortunately, help is available from a dedicated South Carolina federal appeals lawyer with experience handling situations similar to yours. Call today to learn more.

South Carolina Federal Appeals Lawyer