On July 27, 2017, the Third District Court of Appeal published a decision in Ewaid v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC In that case, the court never reached the merits of the appeal because of the manner in which the appellate briefs were prepared. Appellant’s counsel did not state the applicable standard of review, did not cite or discuss relevant legal authority and did not file a reply brief. The result, the judgment against the appellant was affirmed and the appeal was a complete waste of time.
This decision provides an extreme example of how arguments can be lost due to the manner of presentation. Even experienced trial lawyers who do not regularly handle appeals can miss some of the nuances of appellate law practice and can get in the way of a Court of Appeal understanding and ruling on the merits of arguments.
Jeff Lewis is an experienced appellate attorney who can advise you about the specifics of your appeal. Each case is different and you should consult a lawyer rather than relying on this post as legal advice for your situation. If you are contemplating filing or responding to an appeal in your matter, consider retaining a certified appellate specialist as your lawyer or co-counsel on appeal. Don’t wing it, win it.