Stacy J. Ford handles all types of civil appeals to Florida’s five District Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Florida, as well as lower level appeals from county courts to circuit courts. She can assist clients seeking to reverse or correct lower court decisions or uphold favorable rulings in defense of an opposing party’s appeal. She also can advise clients of their appellate rights with regard to court decisions made during a lawsuit but before trial (what are called “interlocutory” or “non-final” orders) and those orders entered after trial or on summary judgment.
Appeals are a special breed of litigation, involving a different set of rules than the trial-level phase of lawsuits. They require a far greater emphasis on legal research and persuasive, well-structured legal writing. Ms. Ford is very familiar with the rules of appellate procedure and highly skilled in research and writing. She also has an in-depth understanding of how the appellate courts differ from the trial courts in many ways, due to her prior “behind-the-scenes” experience as a staff attorney and intern to appellate judges. Such understanding can be the crucial difference between successful and efficient representation by an experienced appellate attorney and imprudent reliance on a trial litigator who may mistakenly believe that the way to persuade a panel of appellate judges is the same as persuading a jury of non-lawyers. Ms. Ford is very familiar with critical appellate considerations, such as an appellate court’s limited jurisdiction, the applicable standard of review, and preservation of error. She can advise you as to how these principles affect and should guide your strategy and arguments in an appeal.
In most instances, a client’s right to appeal an adverse decision exists for only a very limited time period after the trial court’s decision has been issued. Ms. Ford is knowledgeable of the deadlines for seeking appeals and stands ready to take quick action to ensure your rights are not lost due to delay.