Appellate Practice

The appellate process is significantly different from the dramatic world of trial litigation that we all know from TV and the movies. Appeals are based entirely on the record in the lower court, and usually involve fairly technical legal arguments regarding its rulings and decisions.

We love the challenge of a complex appeal, and am always looking for new opportunities for creative advocacy at the appellate level.


Criminal Appeals

Appeals from judgments of state courts in Massachusetts are taken to the Court of Appeals in Boston, where they are reviewed and heard by a three-judge panel. After both sides have thoroughly briefed the issues, oral argument is usually—although not always—granted, and each side is given 10-15 minutes to present arguments and answer questions from the panel. Appeals from the Court of Appeals may be heard by the Supreme Judicial Court on a discretionary basis.

If your appeal has already been denied, we are also willing to discuss the possibility of other post-conviction options.

Civil Appeals

We are also qualified to represent you in any civil matter from which you may seek to take an appeal.

Immigration Appeals

For most non-citizens, the appellate process is the last opportunity for a review of their proceedings before their denial of immigration benefits and/or order of deportation from the United States becomes final.

Appeals from decisions of an Immigration Judge (and some decisions of Citizenship and Immigration Services) are taken to the Board of Immigration Appeals (‘BIA’) in Falls Church, Virginia. The BIA typically issues its opinion several months after receiving briefs from both parties and reviewing the record. Oral arguments are rarely scheduled.

If you are not satisfied with the BIA’s decision, you may have the right to seek further review in a federal appeals court. If your case was originally decided in Boston, this court will be the First Circuit Court of Appeals.