You expected to achieve a particular outcome in court. You worked hard preparing for it. You and your attorney analyzed the facts of your case, gathered documents, and obtained statements from witnesses. You were confident that you were correct in your interpretation of the law and that justice would prevail. The other side refused to settle, so you went ahead and presented your witnesses and documents to the judge at trial. Then, the rude surprise came. The judge disagreed with you and ruled in favor of the opposing party, or gave you an outcome you didn’t want. What now? How can you resolve your case believing that you had the law on your side?
Here are a few important tips to consider if you choose to appeal a final judgment in your case.
First, what is an “appeal?” An appeal is a person’s request to seek review of a final judgment by a higher court. Blacks Law Dictionary, 5th Edition. Typically, in civil cases, this involves someone appealing a circuit court or trial court’s final judgment to the higher appellate court in one of the five districts here in Illinois. Because every final judgment of a circuit court in a civil case is appealable as a matter of right, under Supreme Court Rule 301 there is no restriction on seeking an appeal as a remedy to a final and appealable judgment that you may wish to challenge. There are only requirements that must be met before you can reach a determination made by the appellate court regarding the substance of your case.