Are there valid alternatives to an appeal?

An appellate court will look only at the lower court transcripts, which is what was said by the judge, the litigation attorneys, and the witnesses, without considering any new evidence.

Therefore, sometimes it would not be convenient to file an appeal.

Even if circumstances are different in each case, but an experienced appeals lawyer can recommend you the best course of action.

For example, a motion to reopen, reconsider, or vacate a judgment can be often filed with the original court.

motion is a formal request made to a judge for an order or judgment. Most motions require a written petition, a written brief of legal reasons for granting the motion, written notice to the attorney for the opposing party and a hearing before a judge.

The most common motions are: motion to vacate or set aside, motion for reconsideration, application for renewal, or motion for a new trial.

  • Motion to vacate or set aside the judgment (cancel) and enter a different judgment

In some cases, the affected party asks the trial court to cancel the judgment or order.

motion to vacate judgment is a written request to the court to set aside the judgment and it is different from an appeal. The appeal asserts that the trial court either applied the wrong law or applied the correct law incorrectly. Law set forth specific deadline and grounds for filing a motion to vacate. There are state specific laws on the subject which may vary from State to State.

A judgment may be vacated only in limited cases and you have to meet very specific requirements.

Some circumstances like false material evidences, misrepresentation or fraud adduced at a trial resulting in the judgment was false, may vacate the judgement.

  • Motion for reconsideration of an order

The affected party asks the trial court to review a decision, based on new facts, circumstances, or law. A motion for reconsideration must be filed within 20 days of being served the original decision, and in some cases you have only 10 days. The motion for reconsideration has to be filed with the written notice of entry of the order you want the court to reconsider.

The application must include an affidavit with information on the original order and must be based on new facts, circumstances or different laws.

This is an opportunity to advance the correct adjudication of a matter, when you think a mistake has occurred or you feel the court missed an important point.

  • Application for renewal

In this case, the affected party had made a motion, and was refused, partially or totally, and asks again a judge to grant the order. There is generally no time limit to file an application for renewal.

The application must include an affidavit with information on the original order and must be based on new facts, circumstances or different laws.

  • Motion for a new trial

If you have not received a fair trial you can ask the trial court to reexamine one or more issues, for different reasons such as jury misconduct or an irregularity with the jury, a party, or a lawyer. Courts can, rarely, grant a new trial to correct significant errors that happened during the initial one. This is also called a motion for post-conviction relief. If there is new evidence of innocence like for example, a witness who can corroborate the defendant’s alibi, you can file a motion for a new trial. A motion for a new trial goes to the same judge who presided over the initial trial. Defendants usually make motions for new trials after guilty verdicts, and in some cases the trial judge himself can order a new trial.

If the judge denies a motion for a new trial, you can file an appeal asking a higher court to overrule the trial judge. The prosecution cannot make a motion for a new trial.

  • Immigration cases: refiling

In the immigration contest, sometimes it may be more convenient file a new case from scratch than presenting an appeal to the Board. This is especially true with applications for a Waiver of Inadmissibility, where the burden of proof on the applicant is very high.