Colorado Appellate Lawyers

Appealing Your Case

Filing an appeal in Colorado can be challenging. If you make a mistake along the way, you can compromise your case. Fortunately, you can partner with an attorney who takes the guesswork out of the appeals process. 

Griffiths Law offers help to those who are struggling to navigate Colorado’s appellate court process. For more information, please reach out to us. Our appeals lawyer can review your case right away.

Definition of an Appeal in Colorado

An appeal refers to a legal process in which you ask a higher court to review a decision made by a lower one. For instance, you can receive a decision in a spousal support case. If you appeal the decision, you are asking a higher court to look at the lower court’s decision and determine if it is just. 

If you submit an appeal, you are the appellant or petitioner in your case. Comparatively, the litigant whom the appeal is filed against is the appellee or respondent. Your case will go to an appellate court, which will look at all of the documents relating to the original decision. 

Filing an appeal does not guarantee that your case’s initial decision will be changed. You can work with an appellate lawyer who can guide you through the appeals process. This attorney can submit your appeal and help you get the best results out of it. 

How an Appeal Works 

In Colorado, the Court of Appeals serves as the state’s appellate court. It consists of 22 judges, each of whom practices with the court for eight years. These judges oversee appeals relating to trial court cases. 

If you receive a trial court decision that you believe is unfair and unjust, you can submit an appeal. At this point, you can ask the court to reconsider its original decision. Or, you can request a new trial. 

Griffiths Law has plenty of experience with civil litigation. If your Colorado trial court case did not deliver the decision you wanted, we may be able to help you appeal. To learn more, please get in touch with our Colorado appeals attorneys.  

What an Appellate Court Does

An appellate court is responsible for hearing and reviewing appeals from trial court cases. During an appeal, the appellate court looks at information to determine if the trial court applied the law properly. If not, the appeals court can make changes to the trial court’s decision. 

Some people believe that an appeals court is responsible for retrying or opening a new trial of a previously heard case. Regardless, this is simply untrue. Although an appellate court has the option to send a case back to a trial court, it cannot retry a case or start a new trial on its own. 

A Colorado appellate lawyer can explain how an appeals court operates. If you file an appeal, your attorney will make sure that this court can review evidence that supports your request for a modified decision. They can also provide you with legal resources to help you decide if now is the right time to file an appeal. 

When to File an Appeal in Colorado

You have up to 49 days from the date of your judgment or decree to submit an appeal in Colorado. The time for filing an appeal cannot be extended. If you do not appeal within this period, you lose the right to do so at a later time. 

There can be instances where multiple parties submit an appeal. For example, in a divorce case, both parties may appeal different portions of the judge’s decision. They may do so in the hopes of getting the assets they want from the agreement. 

The Colorado Judicial Brand offers forms that you can fill out to appeal a final order in a divorce or custody matter. Before you submit an appeals form, it is in your best interests to review it with an appeals attorney. That way, you can complete the form correctly and submit any information that you need to move forward with your appeal. 

Types of Family Law Cases That You Can Appeal

Common types of family law cases that can be appealed include:


Division of property is often contested in a divorce case. By filing an appeal, those involved in the divorce can dispute the judgment relating to this issue and many others. The appeal allows a person to explain that certain facts were misrepresented or other errors occurred during their divorce trial, and as such, an appeal is warranted. 

Child Support 

A parent may be ordered to pay child support in Colorado but be dealing with financial issues that hamper their ability to do so. With an appeal, a parent can explain to the court why they believe their child support amount should be lowered. They can present up-to-date evidence that explains an initial child support order should be reevaluated. 

Parenting Time

Colorado follows the “best interests of the child” standard for parenting time and child custody. Thanks to an appeal, a parent may be able to show why it is in their child’s best interests to alter the parenting time schedule. If the parent succeeds, both they and their child can benefit from the revised schedule. 

Appeals lawyers treat every case as its own entity. They can examine your case and help you determine if you have a legitimate reason to appeal. If so, your attorney can help you file your appeal in accordance with Colorado’s laws. 

What the Appeals Process Looks Like

To submit an appeal, you first need to put together a brief, which serves as a written legal argument. A brief is intended to get an appellate court to overturn a trial court’s decision. It can contain facts that explain your argument and outline why you believe the initial trial court decision was incorrect. 

Colorado law states that the appellee has 14 days to respond to an appeal. After your brief is filed, the respondent can answer it within this period. If they do, the appellate court will review both your brief and any information provided by the appellee. 

An appeals court may make a decision based solely on a written argument. It also has the option to hear an oral argument if an appellant or appellee requests it. If both parties are allowed to present oral arguments, their respective attorneys will explain their client’s case, and the appellate court will decide how to proceed.  

How to Find Out If You Can Submit an Appeal 

Just because you disagree with a trial court’s decision does not mean that you can appeal it. Ultimately, you must have legal justification for your appeal. Some of the reasons why you are allowed to appeal a trial court’s decision in Colorado include:

  • The other party in your case misrepresented facts 
  • The court misunderstood the facts of your case 
  • The court made mistakes as it evaluated the facts of your case and rendered its decision  
  • The law was not applied properly 
  • The judge abused their discretion

Colorado appellate attorneys can give you insights into whether it is a good idea to submit an appeal. If an attorney believes you do not have a strong argument, they will let you know. On the other hand, if a lawyer finds that your appeal could lead to a reversal of the court’s initial decision, they can help you build your argument. 

Possible Outcomes of an Appeal

There are four possible outcomes that can come from a trial court appeal:

  • Affirm: This means the court’s original decision remains intact. 
  • Reverse: The original order in your case is determined to be incorrect and is vacated accordingly. 
  • Remand: Your case gets sent back to the trial court, which hears it once again. 
  • Modify: Some parts of your original order get changed. 

An appellate attorney can walk you through the possible outcomes of an appeal. If you appeal a trial court’s decision, your lawyer will advocate for you and make sure that your legal rights are protected. That way, your attorney will put you in the best position to achieve your desired appeal result. 

What to Expect After an Appellate Court Makes Its Decision

An appellate court typically has the final say on a trial court case unless it decides to send the case back to the lower court. In the best-case scenario, the court of appeals will reverse the trial court’s decision. This gives you the outcome that you want without any further steps required. 

If a court of appeals affirms a trial court’s decision, you may be left with few options. Appellate lawyers can explain what legal options remain after the appellate court rules against you. They will explore every legal avenue to ensure you get the legal help that you need. 

Rather than risk an appellate court decision that goes against you, it pays to plan ahead for your appeal. With a best-in-class law firm at your side, you can put together an appeal that resonates with an appellate court. Your attorney will work diligently on your behalf, and they will make sure that your appeal gets the attention it deserves. 

How to Respond to an Appeal That Is Filed Against You

If your trial court case goes the way you want, the other party involved in it still has the opportunity to appeal. They can submit an appeal in accordance with Colorado law. In this situation, you will be notified about the appeal and have 14 days to respond to it. 

A Colorado appeals lawyer can help you prepare an argument designed to keep an original trial court decision in place. They can craft a brief relating to an appeal filed against you within the 14-day window to do so. Your attorney can also represent you as part of an oral argument. 

Expect your attorney to do everything that they can to ensure that an appellate court does not reverse a trial court’s initial decision. Your lawyer will explain why the original decision did not violate Colorado law. They can dispute any claims made by the appellant and their attorney as well. 

When to Hire a Colorado Appeals Attorney

You may believe that you can have a friendly divorce or complete other family law legal processes without any disruptions. Yet, when you go to trial court, problems can come up that prevent you from getting a fair decision. The court may be unaware of these issues — but an appeal helps you address them before it is too late. 

If you hire an appellate lawyer in Colorado, you can get help at each stage of the appeals process. Your attorney can draft your appeal and brief and get ready for an oral argument. In addition, your lawyer can address any legal issues following the appellate court’s decision. 

Along with these things, your lawyer wants to make sure that you make informed decisions throughout the appeals process. They can answer any questions that you have regarding appeals in Colorado. As a result, you can receive the legal guidance and support that you need to overcome obstacles when you file an appeal. 

What to Look for in a Colorado Appellate Lawyer

It helps to learn as much as you can about a Colorado appellate attorney before you hire one. If a lawyer has received many awards based on their legal services and support, these show that the attorney has a great track record. You can also get insights into an attorney’s experience in trial court and appellate court cases. 

When you search for an appellate lawyer, consider where the attorney works. In some instances, an attorney is familiar with the appellate court judges in the areas where they work. If a lawyer has experience with these judges, they may be able to craft an argument that hits the mark with them. 

If you are interested in hiring an appellate lawyer in Colorado, set up a date and time to meet with one. This gives you the opportunity to share details about your trial court case with the attorney. Next, the lawyer can explain how they can help you with your appeal. 

Get Started with Your Appeal

The team at Griffiths Law handles a wide range of family law and civil litigation. If you want help with an appeal, we are here to assist you. To find out more, please contact us today. 

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