The Appellate Process: What are the Paralegal’s Responsibilities?

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Female ParalegalIf you’re soon going to work for a law firm that typically handles appeals, you’re probably wondering what’s expected of you. An appeal involves requesting the court to change a decision that it has already enforced. As a paralegal working on an appeal, you would be included in the following:

Managing the Case

In general, you would have to keep track of relevant information and paperwork for the open appeals case. You’d also be responsible for maintaining files of all crucial court information and rules and deal with correspondence between lawyers, the court, and clients. Also, you’d probably need to ask for time extensions, whenever necessary.

Reviewing Appeal Records

You would have to examine files from the initial trial court, including transcripts of all hearings and motions. If you remember from your paralegal training studies, these records are ideal for discovering proof of unethical dealings or misconduct that might be used for the appeal. You would likewise be in charge of preparing and recording paperwork relevant to the appeal case as well as ensuring that all documents, models, and visual aids are well prepared.

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Preparing the Actual Appeal

This task involves drafting appeal notices and making certain that the appeal summary’s factual section is accurately drafted and ready to be reviewed by all the lawyers involved in the appeal case. You must also prepare each and every case in connection with the appeal case as well as all exhibits, application for lawyer’s fees, and contact details for the authorities.

The bottom line—your role in the appellate process isn’t that different from your role in other court proceedings. Only the case significantly differs, which could change your approach in dealing with the appeal, but your main tasks are the same, case management, records reviews, and drafting the appeal. The most crucial difference is the source of information that you would be using, which is the information from the original court case’s paperwork and decision.