Appeals

Appellate Attorneys in Wisconsin

The judicial system is not perfect and occasionally trial court judges make mistakes, just like everybody else. When an error of law occurs at the trial court level, a litigant may appeal his or her case to a higher court and request that the appeals court correct the lower court’s error. When you take a case to appeals court, it is important that you have a competent attorney on your side to represent you.

What to Expect in the Court of Appeals

Cases are usually first heard on appeal by the Court of Appeals, which is divided into four geographic districts. The court decides cases in panels of three judges. These judges review the trial court records and read briefs submitted by both parties, before they issue a written decision on the matter. The Court of Appeals may uphold the trial court’s decision, reverse the decision, or uphold some parts and reverse others. Occasionally, they may ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to address the matter.

If either party is dissatisfied with the Court of Appeals’ decision, that party may ask the Supreme Court to review the case. The Supreme Court takes only a very small number of the cases it is asked to review. Its primary function is to clarify and interpret Wisconsin law, so it only hears cases in which the law is unclear.

If the Supreme Court accepts a case, a panel of seven justices will do the following before they issue a written decision:

  • Review the trial court record.
  • Read the parties’ briefs.
  • Hear oral argument from both sides.

Attorney Linda S. Balisle has played a critical role in shaping Wisconsin’s family law through appellate litigation. At our firm, we appeal cases both on behalf of clients we have represented at the trial court level and on behalf of clients whose cases were tried by other family law attorneys.