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How to File Civil Appeal in Atlanta

If you lose a civil case and feel that the judge made a legal mistake, you can appeal. An Atlanta appeals lawyer will review the trial record and file an appeal with the proper court.

The Court of Appeals of Georgia is located at the Elbert P. Tuttle U.S. Courthouse in Atlanta. It has fifteen judges. Improve the knowledge of civil appeals in Atlanta.

Jury Verdicts

It is the job of a jury to decide whether a defendant is guilty or not. The jury is required to reach a unanimous verdict – that means all of the jurors must be certain beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

However, it is possible for the jury to be wrong in its verdict and a judge may be able to reverse it. The jury must be given a clear set of instructions from the judge and the jury must understand every element of the crime before they can convict someone for it.

It is also important that the verdict is not excessive. The jury’s verdict is presumed to be based upon fair consideration of the matter and the court should not disturb it just because it is large.


When you lose a case in trial court, it may seem as though your life is over. Fortunately, you can still file an appeal and have a chance to get the decision overturned.

Appeals are decided by panels of judges, and the party filing the appeal, called the appellant, presents legal arguments in a document known as a brief. Typically, the brief is designed to convince the judges that the lower court made errors.

The Georgia Court of Appeals is where most appeals are filed. In addition, there is a federal appeals court in Atlanta that hears appeals of cases heard in the United States District Court for the Eleventh Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. This court has jurisdiction over both civil and criminal appeals.

Discretionary Appeals

A party may not like a judge’s ruling, but that alone isn’t grounds to file an appeal. Under Georgia law, an appealing party must demonstrate that a legal basis exists for overturning the decision.

The court’s rules provide specific guidance for the submission of discretionary applications. For example, Rule 31 (i) requires that extensions of time to file a discretionary application be filed via that rule’s procedures.

Discretionary appeals are usually heard by the same judges who hear direct appeals. As a result, these cases can be as complex and time-consuming as direct appeals. The Court of Appeals has one of the highest caseloads of any state intermediate appellate court, and each judge is responsible for approximately four final decisions per week plus reviewing and voting on twice as many decisions authored by other judges and various interlocutory orders and applications.

Interlocutory Appeals

A trial court judge makes decisions based on evidence and arguments presented by both parties in a case. The law allows for people who disagree with a ruling to file an appeal and have those decisions reviewed by higher courts.

Generally, an appellate court will either affirm the original ruling, reverse it if it was wrong, or return it to the trial court for more information. An experienced attorney can help in the complex process of navigating an appeal.

Most appeals in Georgia are heard by the Court of Appeals, which reviews final judgments from superior (trial courts of general jurisdiction with authority to try all felonies and most civil actions) and state courts. The Court of Appeals can also hear certain discretionary and interlocutory appeals, which require an application to the court for review and do not begin until after a trial court has issued a non-final order that the court certifies for immediate review.

Federal Appeals

While a federal court conviction may appear final, it is not without the possibility of being overturned. A knowledgeable Atlanta federal appeals attorney could analyze your case and provide guidance on the next steps.

Appeals are decided by panels of judges instead of juries. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, located in Atlanta, reviews cases that arise from district courts across Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

The Court of Appeals building, which was opened in ’81 and is named for a former judge, has impressive courtrooms. One is the two-story en banc courtroom, designed for all judges to sit together to hear a case. It features herringbone maple floors, carved oak paneling, and bronze grilles. The judges will review the trial documentation and briefs before making their decision.

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