Appeals offer a second chance.
Use yours wisely.
Even judges make mistakes, that's one reason the appeals process exists. But not all mistakes are created equal—some are considered legally harmless—and the distinction makes a difference.
If a judge's mistake hurt your case, you need someone who knows how to convince an appellate court that the error wasn't harmless and to reverse the bad decision. And if you prevailed, you need someone to show the appellate court that the error wasn't a big deal and that the good result should be affirmed.
John understands how appellate judges make these decisions. He has successfully litigated appeals as counsel of record in the Utah Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He also served as a law clerk on the Utah Court of Appeals and knows how appellate courts function behind the scenes. John's experience and expertise can help you reverse bad decisions or affirm good ones.
Areas of Expertise
As a general rule, the losing side in a civil case has one chance to appeal their loss, but the path isn't a simple one. To succeed, you have to do more than convince a judge that an error was made—you also need to show that the error unjustly altered your case's outcome. As a result, it's important that you have a lawyer like John who understands how appellate judges make these decisions and what persuades them to rule in your favor.
Criminal defendants in Utah have a constitutional right of appeal. But the first appeal is generally the last best chance to overturn a conviction, which means it needs to be handled carefully. To make an appeal count, it takes fresh eyes to identify the strongest issues and the best arguments. It's also critical to have inside knowledge about how judges make decisions. John's experience as a clerk on the Utah Court of Appeals provides both.
In today’s world, the vast majority of legal proceedings are administrative rather than judicial (think workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, and so on). Like judicial decisions, administrative decisions can be appealed when they don’t go your way. John practiced administrative law in the Utah Attorney General's Office and can help guide you through the labyrinth of rules and appeal options in your administrative case.
Put John’s expertise to work. He can handle your entire appeal, from filing the notice of appeal and docketing statement to writing your principal brief, response brief, and presenting oral argument. John can also appear alongside existing counsel and combine his appellate expertise with their subject expertise.
Sometimes a litigant only needs professional assistance with some specific aspect of an appeal. John offers unbundled legal services, also known as limited representation, to people who are otherwise representing themselves in court. Purchasing indiviudal services often results in significant cost savings to the client.
Writing & Strategy
Savvy lawyers know their client’s case better than anyone else, but they also know appeals are a different animal. John is available to consult on appellate strategy. Alternatively, he can work with existing counsel in the background, conducting research and drafting briefs without making an appearance in the case.