Chicago Appeals Lawyer
Beyond Employment, Maduff & Maduff has earned a reputation handling appeals across the country. Our attorneys are members of the Bar of every Federal Appellate Court in the Country including the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Military Criminal Appeals Courts, the Supreme Court of the Armed Forces (CAAF), and the Supreme Court of the United States. But more than that, they have practiced before these Courts having taken cases to the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of the Armed Forces. This means that Maduff & Maduff is handling appeals not just in employment cases, but in criminal cases, Constitutional Cases, and cases of complicated civil procedural issues. In 2015, Aaron Maduff argued In Re Pension Litigation to the Supreme Court of Illinois obtaining a 7-0 opinion striking as unconstitutional a law that would have gutted public pensions. It was one of the most consequential cases in the history of the State of Illinois.
Maduff & Maduff has also participated in and filed amicus briefs in various appellate courts across the country at both state and federal levels. An amicus brief is an extra brief in an appellate case, usually filed by a not-for-profit interest group concerned that the Court may not get all the arguments from the parties to the case.
So what is an appeal? Where a party feels the trial court has made an error of law, an appeal can almost always be taken in an effort to fix that error. The key question is whether there is a meritorious issue that should be appealed. An appellate lawyer may represent the party taking that appeal, or the party defending the first Court’s order.
Appellate work is very different from trial work. The facts of a case are developed in the trial courts through exchanges of documents, depositions, and other discovery tools. Developing that factual record can take months or even years. In the end, the trial court will make a decision based upon the factual record before it (whether by Jury or by Judge).
Where the trial court spends considerable time developing the facts, the appellate court typically takes those facts and makes legal decisions. The work in the appellate court is often limited to one set of briefing and an oral argument. In most cases, the appellate court will then issue a written opinion.
In the trial court, a case is generally run by a single judge. Appellate courts sit in panels- typically three judges. In most cases, the parties do not know who the judges are going to be until after the briefing is done.
Above the appellate courts are the Supreme courts- though they have very different names depending on the state. Supreme courts have a different purpose than appellate courts. You rarely have a right to appeal to a supreme court. You must get permission to do so. Persuading a supreme court to take a case is not easy. The Supreme Court is going to be interested in how important the issue is and whether there is a difference of opinion among the appellate courts on the issue.
If you have a case on appeal, you must consider your options carefully. If you received a favorable decision in the trial court and the other side is appealing, you are going to want to defend the appeal. Maduff & Maduff has appeared before numerous appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and has prepared briefing both as a party and as an amicus (friend of the court). We have appellate experience which is not specifically limited to employment law. If you have an issue to appeal or are defending an appeal, call us.