It is frequently the case when you are very pleased with a judge's decision, that the other party is equally as displeased and files an appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. A truism: "It isn't always over til it's over."
An appeal to the Court of Special Appeals is "on the record" meaning that a transcript is prepared, briefs are filed and the lawyers argue before a panel of three judges. No new testimony occurs. It is critical to maintain the good result you achieved. In the event that you are the appealing party, this will be your final opportunity to have the decision modified or a new trial granted in whole or in part.
What to expect.
The Court of Special Appeals has its own mediation process which may be ordered by the Court after the Notice(s) of Appeal have been filed with the Court. The Court looks at each case and makes a judgment as to whether or not mediation might be helpful in resolving the case before the entire appeal process is completed. The Court also has the authority to apportion the costs between the parties.
Understand your options.
The party with the more favorable decision still has the right to file a cross-appeal on the issues which the party is not entirely satisfied with. It is critically important that you be represented during the appeal process whether you are the appealing party (Appellant) or the responding party (Appellee). It is important to remember that we can still attempt to negotiate with the other party and explore settlement options that may be acceptable to both sides while saving both parties the costs of the appeal.
Identify issues and realities.
The issues which are being appealed are exchanged when each side files a Civil Appeal Information Report with the Court of Special Appeals. These issues are generally framed in a way which allows for (i) further negotiation between counsel, (ii) mediation with the Court of Special Appeals or (iii) advocacy in the appellate briefs filed by each side. Generally, in family law cases, the standard for a reversal is whether or not the trial court abused its discretion or was clearly erroneous.
Define outcomes and develop goals.
We will work closely with you to negotiate a post-trial outcome. If not possible, Mr. Krohn has extensive experience briefing and arguing cases before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and Maryland's highest court, the Maryland Court of Appeals, having done so more than 70 times.
It is essential that any appeal be filed not later than thirty days after the last to occur of the docketing of the Judgment or any timely filed post-trial motion such as a motion to alter or amend judgment. Appeals which are not filed timely will likely be dismissed with no further legal recourse. Please make every effort to contact our office immediately to set up a consultation so that we can advise you as to your options going forward.