Unfortunately, trial courts do not always arrive at the correct decision. An erroneous ruling is often the result of a misapplication of accepted precedent to the particular facts of the case at issue. Kelly & Bramwell’s attorneys are well-versed with the procedures and standards of review applied on appeal. This enables us to advocate for clients on appeal to petition the Court to address unanswered issues of law or to update established areas of the law based on changes in our rapidly-evolving world. With years of experience our lawyers are best-poised to assist you in your appellate needs.

Appeals to Appellate Courts

Appellate courts are charged with the duty of reviewing the decisions and rulings of lower courts and providing guidance for lower courts and attorneys. On appeal, the question for the consideration of an appellate court is not necessarily whether the trial court reached the best decision. Rather, an appellate court considers only specific questions related to the appropriate application of law or the proper observance of procedure by a trial court . One must bear in mind that appellate courts apply certain standards of review, meaning that appeals are complicated and time-consuming.

De Novo Appeals to Trial Courts

In certain circumstances, appeals are not made to an appellate court; rather, they are addressed de novo to a trial court. When reviewing a de novo appeal, a trial court will hear all of the facts and receive all of the evidence in order to make its own decision about the case. In essence, a de novo appeal is a second trial conducted anew. The most common de novo appeals are heard in criminal cases and small claims courts.

Criminal Convictions from Justice Courts

As a matter of right, a defendant convicted in a city or county justice court may appeal the conviction to a State District Court (if made within the statutory period). The imposition of a jail sentence may, under certain circumstances, be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal to the District Court. On appeal, the criminal case will proceed as if the justice court
proceedings had never taken place.

Judgments Entered in Small Claims Court

As a matter of right, a party against whom a judgment is entered in any small claims court may appeal the judgment to a State District Court (if made within the statutory period). On appeal, the case will proceed as if the small claims proceedings had never taken place.

Sample Cases

Published Decisions:

Bahr v. Imus, 2011 UT 19, 250 P.3d 56.

Bahr v. Imus, 2009 UT App 155, 211 P.3d 987.

Unpublished Decisions:
PP&T, LLC v. Brinar, 2008 UT App 198.
Jaspering v. Jaspering, 2008 UT App 193.

Visit the following links for more information:
Utah Supreme Court 

Utah Court of Appeals

Do-it-yourself Guide to Appeals

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