15 Feb Aggressive Family Law Attorney Must Know How to Correctly and Effectively File An Appeal

People who are going through a contested divorce, paternity action, custody battle, modification of any kind or any other type of stressful family law case often search for an aggressive family lawyer.

This article attempts to educate people about what aggressive should and should not look like. The best way to understand what makes a family lawyer effective requires you to first understand what a judge will consider about your case.

First off, it is crucial for your lawyer to know what family law decisions are discretionary.  For example, when it comes to the amount of alimony and attorney fees, Judges have much more discretion compared to awarding child support. In other words, if the Judge presiding over your case does not like you or your lawyer then they can more easily rule against you on your requests for attorney fees, alimony or even the amount of timesharing with your children.

You should not think that a family lawyer is effective just because he or she causes your former spouse or other parent to be miserable throughout your case. Instead, you should pursue a lawyer who knows how to simultaneously be civil and get your Judge to rule in your favor.

Judge’s fear being embarrassed, and that typically happens when the appellate court reverses their decision and publishes an opinion explaining the trial court’s error. With this important reality established, you can now begin to understand how your lawyer can be aggressive by properly getting the trial judge’s attention.

An aggressive lawyer puts in the time to create a record and will make the trial judge aware that a complete record is being created. Without a complete record the appellate court cannot disturb a trial judge’s decision unless the trial judge’s written order is so blatantly deficient – and that rarely happens.  An aggressive lawyer will create a record and inform the judge of the legal issues requiring a ruling in your favor.

What is most important for you to understand about aggressive lawyering is:

  1. A record for purposes of appeal must be complete so that a reviewing court can know exactly what the trial judge was aware of;
  2. That the trial judge must believe that record includes legal issues requiring a correct ruling; and
  3. That you (the Client) are willing and/or determined to appeal the trial judge.

The final point that should be understood is that you want a lawyer who can simultaneously be civil, diplomatic and aggressive. In other words, aggressive does not require your lawyer to be an ass. In fact, if your lawyer is pleasant then there is a good chance you will not have to incur the very expensive task of appealing your trial judge, and that is because there is a good chance your pleasant lawyer can get a ruling from the trial judge that you will not want to appeal.

Attorney Bradley Sherman has twenty years of experience with criminal, family, civil and handling appeals for all these types of cases.