Why Hire a Different Lawyer for Appeal?

If you lost at trial and want to appeal, you might think that it is best to stick with your current lawyer. If your lawyer makes you comfortable and is experienced in the criminal appeals process, then staying with your lawyer for the appellate process might be a good decision.

If not, you still might think that your lawyer did a good job. Or you might believe that your lawyer knows your case better than a new one would. Those are not necessarily good reasons to stay with the same lawyer. A lawyer who did a good job at trial does not translate to a lawyer that will do a good job on appeal. The skills required at trial are different than those required on appeal.

Some lawyers have substantial experience at both. I have tried dozens of cases to juries, and many more waiver trials. But I have also handled hundreds of criminal appeals and post-conviction cases. I know the differences between arguing a case at the trial level and persuading judges on appeal. They are not the same. A trial is a fight. An appeal is more like a debate.  The difference is significant.

Picking an experienced appellate lawyer is tremendously important. And deciding to hire me does not mean you cannot go back to your original trial lawyer if your appeal is successful and that is what you want to do. I am not interested in stealing clients if a new trial is granted. I will handle further proceedings if that is what you want. But let’s handle the appeal or post-conviction matter before that decision is made.

Whether you are appealing to the Pennsylvania Superior Court or the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, choosing the right lawyer for your appeal or post-conviction proceeding in Pennsylvania might mean the difference between serving a long prison sentence and getting a new trial at which inadmissible evidence cannot be introduced. This decision should not be made because you like a particular lawyer or because you thought that a lawyer did a good job at a separate proceeding. Those could be considerations in your decision. But standing alone, those are not good reasons to hire that lawyer for your appeal.

If you are looking to hire a Pennsylvania criminal appeals lawyer, I understand that you are in a difficult time of your life. You or a loved one has probably already been convicted and might have been sentenced. It is not the ideal time to make a decision about hiring an appellate lawyer. However, it is an important decision that requires thought and consideration. It is not the time to make a bad choice.

The right decision is to hire a criminal appeals lawyer who has substantial experience. A fresh set of eyes can frequently uncover issues that might cause an appellate court to grant relief. A new attorney might also uncover errors that your lawyer made that might result in reversal of your convictions. If you have any questions regarding how I can help you with your criminal appeal, don’t hesitate to contact me for a consultation.