Appeals are like cars in many ways; they can be fairly inexpensive to very expensive depending on the type of (car) appeal you have. Where the cost comes in is how many issues you want to raise and, the novelty of the issues; all of these translate into time, and time is normally chargeable to the client. This blog helps you understand what an appellate lawyer cost (and why)?
The cost of an appeal for a domestic custody or property appeal is probably going to be $5,000 to $10,000 per issue. However, if these issues were tried over several days, the issue is going to cost more to appeal. Why? As you probably realize by this juncture, appellate attorneys charge by the hour for their time to prepare and file an appeal. In a longer case with more transcript and/or there are numerous exhibits is going to take more time. As the appellate attorney will have to read the entire transcript and review all exhibits to know where the facts supporting the issues are discussed in order to make your appellate for reversal.
Thus, a shorter trial will have less transcript and exhibits to review to use in raising your issues on appeal. This is because it does not take too much time to read a short transcript and a few exhibits, the appeal will be less costly. It is just that simple.
In a long trial with multiple issues, a single issue might be tried over several days. Your appellate attorney will have to read the entire transcript for this issue and then word search same to make sure your appellate contains the necessary cites to each place the matter is testified about in trial related to the issue.
With each issue, the appellate lawyer then has to determine the relevant statues, cases, and/or or rules that apply to same to make the argument for how the trial court erred in its decision in your case. Specifically, the appellate attorney must take all these facts and laws and synthesize these into a cogent appellate argument that can help the Court of Appeals understand the issue and reverse.
This has to be done for every issue you have on an appeal. In general, the issues appellants want to raise on appeal are those that are pure question of law. In other words, your strongest arguments are those where your counsel can argue that the trial court misapplied the law. In these cases, the Court of Appeals of Indiana reviewed such de novo. This means the Court of Appeals does not give any deference to the trial court’s decision if it misapplied the law.
All said while you cannot raise a frivolous appellate issue, your appellate lawyer can make an argument that the law is outdated or needs revised to be current with the legal needs of the time. This of course takes more time and costs more money. While there is vertical privity and an appeal in the Indiana Court of Appeals cannot directly fail to follow a Supreme Court case, a panel of judges on the Court of Appeals (consisting of three  randomly assigned judges for each appeal) of the fifteen (15 total judges are free to disagree and dissent or issue a different ruling than a different panel of the Court of Appeals.)
This is how the law is developed in Indiana. When there is enough contradiction or divergency in the caselaw of the Court of Appeals on an important issue, the Supreme Court may take the issue on transfer and decided the conflicting decisional law of the Court of Appeals of Indiana. Thus, litigants and their case make and shape Indiana law.
This blog on what an appellate lawyer costs was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. who handle appeals of final order from all of Indiana’s ninety-two (92) counties. This blog is written for general educational purposes. It is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. It is also not legal advice. This blog is an advertisement. We hope this blog helps you understand the costs of an appellate attorney.