Cost of an Appeal

As mentioned elsewhere, appeals are a complex area of law that very few licensed attorneys practice and even less that practice it well. Pursuing an appeal can easily be the most expensive parts of litigation.

Our fees are always on a flat-fee basis as opposed to a retainer and an hourly charge. Appellate work is a thinking man’s game that requires hours upon hours of simply contemplating and thinking about the appeal. Even more important, an appeal requires developing creative legal theories some of which are issues of first-impression – issues that a court has never considered. Sometimes these novel theories never amount to anything for various reasons; however, an appellate attorney must always be thinking outside of the box. A flat-fee arrangement is the most conducive to this outside of the box thinking; otherwise, every move on appeal must be justified by the extra hourly cost.

The flat fee amount is on a case-by-case basis depending on such factors as the length of the trial; the amount of testimony and evidence presented at trial; the size of the record on appeal; the type of case being appealed; the number of likely issues on appeal; the complexity of the issues; and whether we are filing an appeal or defending an appeal.

The flat fee would cover all the work required to completing the appeal including all legal research costs; preparing and reviewing the record on appeal; researching the relevant issues; preparing the written appellate briefs; routine procedural motions required to complete the appellate brief; communications with the client; and presenting the oral argument if required.

The flat fee does not include outside expenses required to file the appeal such as court filing fees, shipping, travelling, the court reporter’s fees for preparing the trial transcripts, and the fee charged by the circuit court to certify the common law record. These outside expenses can be a few thousand dollars depending on how many days of trial testimony was taken. The costs for defending are substantially lower because the party filing the appeal is responsible for the costs in preparing the record on appeal. These outside fees are covered by a flat fee or in rare situations can be paid directly by the client, if paid in a timely manner to the respective parties.

Generally, the payment of the attorney fees and associated costs are required in advance. All monies paid to us will be deposited in our client trust account and deducted on a percent completion basis.

We also offer free initial consultations to briefly discuss the appeals process. However, this initial consultation does not include reviewing documents or performing legal research. Rather, the sole purpose of this initial consultation is to discuss with you whether filing an appeal is something worth doing.

A more thorough consultation is also available for a fee of $1,000. In this paid consultation, we will meet with you in person or on the phone usually on more than one occasion. We will also review the key documents and pleadings in your case, evaluate the procedural posture of your case, perform limited legal research into the potential appellate issues, talk to your current lawyer if prudent, and give you an assessment of the chances on appeal. The paid consultation is typically only available if warranted by time and the filing deadlines that you are facing.

Filing an appeal is an expensive and time consuming endeavor. However, if you are adamant that you want the justice that you deserve, appealing a trial court’s wrong decision is sometimes the only thing you can do. Regardless, of where you are in the appellate process or even if you still haven’t gone to trial, we are here to help and guide you along the confusing appellate road.

Strict Deadlines Apply to Appeal.

Contact us today to start the Appeals Process! 630-360-2LAW (2529)