Scottsdale Family Law
Appeals Services

At Burggraff Tash Levy, we know that deciding whether to file an appeal can seem overwhelming. Especially since you likely just finished a long case in the superior court. We are here to answer your questions, discuss your options, help you understand your rights, and, if we represent you in your appeal, our lawyers will guide you through every step of the process as efficiently as possible.

​Scottsdale Family Law Appeals Law Firm

Considering Filing an Appeal? Find Out How Our Family Law Appeals Attorneys Can Help

At Burggraff Tash Levy, we know that the trial court does not always get it right and sometimes the decision needs to be reviewed by a higher court. Under certain circumstances, you can appeal the ruling of a Superior Court Family Judge. It is possible to pursue an appeal without an attorney and Arizona has put together a packet to assist unrepresented parties. (See Pro Se Guide). But the appellate process can be overwhelming because of all of the deadlines and specific rules. When considering appealing a family law matter, it is best to consult an attorney with a background in both family law and appeals. Please also be aware there are certain deadlines that approach quickly so it is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Call a family law attorney from Burggraff Tash Levy at 480-307-6800 or use our online form to schedule your consultation.

What is an Appeal?

In an appeal, a party is asking a higher court review the decision/ruling of a lower court. Commonly in Arizona Family Law, the party is asking the Arizona Court of Appeals to review the decision from the trial court level, typically the Arizona Superior Court.

Appeal Written

What Is a Family Law Appeals Attorney?

A family law appeals attorney is an attorney that focuses on appealing a family court judge’s decision or orders to the court of appeals.  A family law appeals attorney is adept at writing detailed, persuasive briefs for the court of appeals and is competent in the area of oral advocacy before an appellate judge panel.

One may be thinking: what is the difference between an appeals attorney and a regular attorney; an attorney is an attorney, right?  The short answer is no. Just like one would not prefer a plumber to do electrical work in their home, any given client—knowing the difference—would not want a trial attorney that practices criminal law handling their family law appeal.  Even if an attorney practices family law generally, they may not be open to taking on appeals cases. This is because the work is completely different.  Working with the court of appeals requires an attorney to be adept in research and case law analysis, writing appellate briefs, and oral advocacy.  Not to say that these skills are not necessary when practicing before the superior court, but the court of appeals requires specific briefing that is not common to the everyday practice of law. The process is very tedious, time consuming, and generally specific to working with the court of appeals. Because the process of working with the court of appeals is drastically different than that of working with the superior court, along with the fact that many attorneys have other superior court cases to attend to, many law offices do not offer appeals services at all.

What Are The Grounds for Appeal From The Family Court?

The next question one may have is what are grounds for an appeal?  Phrased another way: can, or should one appeal the family court’s decision, child custody ruling, child support award, or other order entered by the family court? This is difficult question that one should not face alone. Hence, the recommendation to seek out a family law appeals attorney.  Generally, the court of appeals will not reverse (overturn) a family court’s decision unless the superior court judge made an error of law.  An error of law can constitute many things, such as: applying the wrong legal standard to a specific set of facts, missing a step in a statutory analysis, or making a decision that is clearly contrary to the evidence.  It should be noted that it is difficult to be successful on appeal.  In fact, only a small fraction of the family law appeals result in the trial court’s judgment or orders being overturned.  As such, deciding to appeal a case is a difficult decision that requires appropriate advice and contemplation.  This is yet another reason why it is recommended to seek out a family law appeals attorney before deciding to appeal a family court’s decision.

At Burggraff Tash Levy PLC, we have an experienced appeals team. If you are considering filing an appeal, call Burggraff Tash Levy at 480-307-6800 or use our online form to schedule your consultation.

What Is The Process For An Appeal?

As noted above, the Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure guide the process of an appeal.  The process starts when a party receives a final judgment from the family court.  After receiving a final judgment, i.e., all claims in a case have been ruled upon by the family court, a party that wishes to appeal (“the appellant”) has 30 days after the entry of the judgment to file a “Notice of Appeal” with the superior court along with all parties to the case.  Importantly, if a notice of appeal is filed late—past the 30 days—it will not be considered by the court of appeals.  A party then must order transcripts of the proceedings (the trial or hearing in which one is appealing from) so that the appellate court will have the ability to review what was said (the testimony/facts) during trial along with how the evidence presented was utilized.  After that, a party must pay a filing fee to the Arizona court of appeals, fill out a form known as a case management statement, and at that time the court of appeals will provide a due date for the opening brief.  After the opening brief has been filed by the appellant, the other party (“the appellee”) will then have forty (40) days after service of the opening brief to file their respective answering brief.  After an answering brief is filed by the appellee, the appellant then has the option of filing a reply brief no later than 20 days after service of the answering brief.  For a great resource regarding the appeals process please see here.

At Burggraff Tash Levy PLC, we have an experienced appeals team. If you are considering filing an appeal, call Burggraff Tash Levy at 480-307-6800 or use our online form to schedule your consultation.

"I'm truly grateful for finding Randi and choosing BTL to represent me through my years of litigation in family court. I couldn't imagine going through all that without her compassion, dedication, and tenacity to ensure I always had the strongest possible case."
- C.P.
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