How do I Choose the Best Criminal Appeal Lawyer?

N. Madison
N. Madison

There are many considerations that may influence your decision when the time comes to choose a criminal appeal lawyer. Among the most important may be the experience of the attorney you are considering as well as the focus of his practice. Additionally, your attorney’s demeanor can be critical as he argues your case. For this reason, you may do well to meet with those you are considering to determine whether they seem confident and capable. Legal fees can be an important consideration as well.

The best criminal appeal lawyers will have substantial amounts of experience with such cases.
The best criminal appeal lawyers will have substantial amounts of experience with such cases.

Some people choose criminal appeal lawyers without putting much effort into the decision-making process. For example, they may find a lawyer in a local phone directory or obtain a referral and hire that attorney without considering any others. This, however, may not result in hiring the best criminal appeal lawyer. Instead, you may achieve better results by making a list of several lawyers who are qualified to handle your case and then choosing the one who meets most of your selection criteria.

When you’re trying to choose a criminal appeal lawyer, you may do well to consider experience. An inexperienced criminal appeal lawyer may have in-depth knowledge of the law but prove ineffective when it comes to arguing your case. You may feel more comfortable if the lawyer you choose has long experience dealing with appeals cases. Additionally, you may feel most confident in your attorney's ability if you choose a criminal appeal lawyer who has extensive experience with criminal appeals in particular.

The focus of a lawyer's practice may also prove important when you are attempting to choose the best criminal appeal lawyer. If most of his practice is focused on criminal cases, and a significant portion of his cases are appeals, you may be in good hands. It is generally best to avoid choosing a general practice lawyer to handle a criminal appeal case.

Before choosing a criminal appeal lawyer, you may also do well to arrange consultations with at least a few of them. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions about your case and gain a feel for each lawyer’s style and personality. You may then choose the lawyer who has the most confident demeanor and a personality with which you feel comfortable.

When it comes to legal fees, you may feel tempted to choose the attorney who offers the lowest rates for criminal appeal representation. Choosing based on legal fees may not help you hire the best lawyer for the job, however. To hire the best criminal appeal lawyer and stay within your legal budget, you may first compare lawyers based on their experience, practice focus, and demeanor. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a couple that interest you, you may then make your choice based on costs.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- it's also important to remember that there are some lawyers who specialize in appellate cases. Hiring one of them instead of someone who just has a great ad in the phone book is often the best choice.

There is a difference between a good trial lawyer and a good appellate lawyer. We're talking about different types of skill sets. You probably wouldn't want a lawyer who specializes in appellate cases representing you in a jury trial, just as a great trial lawyer may not be effective for the very procedural, rules driven and remarkably formal world of appellate law.


This is one of the many times when "word of mouth" references are very important. Visiting with friends, family and other people you trust and seeking their advice can be very important in helping you make a decision.

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