What is an Appeal?


What is an Appeal?

Here at LaMonaca Law we strive to bring the best legal team and representation to our clients.  LaMonaca Law’s Appellate Unit is a specialty team within the firm focusing on cutting edge law, procedure and the representation of clients in all phases of the appellate process. What is an Appeal? We provide consultation and assistance to outside attorneys regarding the appellate process.  Additionally, the Appellate Unit accepts referrals from outside attorneys to handle their family law appeals.

What is an appeal?

An appeal is an application made to the Pennsylvania Superior Court or Pennsylvania Supreme Court seeking review of the trial court’s decision.  Generally, to be successful on an appeal, you must show that the trial court made an error of law or abused its discretion in making a final ruling in your case.  Appeals to the Superior Court from a final order are a matter of right (Rule 341).  Appeals to the Supreme Court are granted only by permission of the Court under limited circumstances (Rule 1112).

What kind of orders can be appealed?

Generally speaking, only final orders can be appealed (Rule 341).  There are some exceptions for interlocutory or collateral orders, but they tend to be appealed under very specific and limited circumstances (Rules 313 and 311).  A final order is one that disposes of all claims between all parties.  Generally, a final order ends the case and puts someone out of court.

How do you appeal?

You must file a notice of appeal with the trial court within thirty (30) days of the entry of the final order (Rule 903).  If your case is a custody case, it will be designated a Children’s Fast Track Appeal and you must file a Statement of Errors Complained of on Appeal (Rule 1925(b)) simultaneously with the notice of appeal (Rule 905(a)(2)).

Appellate practice is riddled with potential procedural pitfalls and you should seek representation from an experienced attorney when filing any appeal.  The appellate courts strenuously enforce rules and deadlines.  Failure to comply with the rules could lead to your appeal being dismissed.  If you think you have an order that needs to be appealed, click or call 610-892-3877 and request to speak to someone in our Appellate Unit to get the assistance and guidance you need to navigate this process.

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About the author

About Melissa Towsey

Melissa graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002 with a double major in Sociology and Foreign Affairs. After working for several years as a paralegal in Washington, D.C., she attended The University of Villanova School of Law and graduated in 2010. During law school, Melissa was involved in several public interest organizations and published an article in Villanova’s Environmental Law Journal, “Something Stinks: The Need for Environmental Regulation of Puppy Mills” 21 Vill. Envtl. L.J. 159 (2010) http://www.animallaw.info/articles/arus21villenvtllj159.htm. After law school, Melissa clerked for the Honorable Thomas G. Parisi, Administrative Judge of the Criminal Division in the Court of Common Pleas, Berks County. Melissa is the supervising attorney of the firm’s Appellate Unit. The Appellate Unit handles all aspects of the appellate process for family law cases as well as advanced research within the firm. Melissa and her husband, Paul, reside in Montgomery County with their two cats Wembley and Gobo. In her spare time, she enjoys audiobooks, barbeques, and watching action movies.