No Room for Mistakes in an Appeal

No Room for Mistakes in an Appeal

In some areas of law, the courts can be forgiving of procedural missteps in order to ensure that justice is served and the parties are heard. Appeals are not one of these areas, and a minor error in the preparation or filing of your appeal can result in the appeal being denied without reaching the merits.

Such was the case in the matter of D.S.E. v. C.T.E, filed last month in the Superior Court. 120 MDA 2019 (Pa.Super 2019). In this case, the trial court combined two separate but related court dockets into a single hearing, and the court issued a single order to resolve both docket entries. The unsuccessful party believed legal errors were made and filed an appeal. Unfortunately, this unsuccessful party was unsuccessful a second time at the Superior Court. The Rules of Appellate Procedure state that when a single order of court resolves issues from more than one docket, separate notices of appeal must be filed. Since only one notice of appeal was filed, the entire appeal was dismissed without any review of the record.

Sound harsh? It is! But strict rules are the norm in appellate practice. You only get one shot at perfecting an appeal, and that appeal has to be both timely and procedurally accurate. There is no room for errors.

At LaMonaca Law, our Appellate Unit has vast experience in properly preparing appeals. Our team will work with you to review the findings of the trial court in order to determine the best course of action. If an appeal is determined to be the best course of action, we will effectively represent you throughout the entire process.

If you are contemplating an appeal and aren’t sure how to proceed, Press Send or call us today at (610) 892-3877 to schedule an appointment with one of our talented appellate attorneys.

About the author

About Gerry Gebhart

Gerry graduated from Drexel University magna cum laude with a degree in Information Systems and a minor in Business Administration. After working as a consultant in the intermodal transportation industry, Gerry enrolled in and graduated from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where he specialized in trial advocacy. Prior to joining LaMonaca Law, Gerry practiced Family Law privately while working at the Public Defender’s office. Gerry quickly gained a reputation as a savvy trial attorney, securing numerous successful trial verdicts, eventually resulting in his being elected as president of the Delaware County Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association. Gerry lives in Middletown Township where he is active in his local firehouse as both a firefighter and member of the board of directors.