The majority of our work is in direct appeals to the Appellate Division, Second Department. We also represent some clients on their appeals to the Appellate Term, Second Department.
This process begins when we are assigned by the court to represent an individual who has been convicted of a crime after a trial or a guilty plea.
Each client is assigned an attorney who will review the transcript of the trial or plea as well as the paperwork in the Supreme Court file. An attorney, in consultation with the client, will select an issue or issues to raise on appeal. The attorney will submit a brief arguing those issues to the court. After the attorney submits the brief, the client will have the opportunity to request permission to file a supplemental, pro se brief to the court.
About three months after the brief is filed, the District Attorney files a responding brief. The case is then placed on the court's calendar for argument or submission.
A panel of judges reviews each case and issues a decision. Depending on the issues raised, a decision in favor of the client could reverse the conviction and dismiss the charges, reverse the decision and order a new trial, reduce the sentence, or grant some other form of relief. If the court reverses a conviction and dismisses the indictment, the attorney will facilitate the client's release and the clearing of his or her record. If a new trial is ordered, the attorney will turn the case over to a trial attorney.
In the event the decision is not favorable to the client, the attorney will request leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals. If the Court of Appeals grants leave, the attorney will submit a new brief to that Court and argue the client's case in Albany, New York.
For more details about this process, click on "The Appeals Process," to the left.