Can You Handle My Appeal In Missouri?
Yes, I can handle your appeal. I have filed numerous appeals in the Missouri court of appeals and in the federal courts of appeal. I am a member of the bar of the Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuit United States Courts of Appeal. I am also a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court. So I’m very experienced in handling appeals. I concentrate my practice on criminal appeals and post-conviction cases.
Often, a convicted defendant will retain their trial lawyer to do the appeal. There are a couple of reasons why I do not believe this is the best practice. Trial lawyers and appellate lawyers are very different in their approach to cases, and what outcome they are wishing to achieve. An appellate lawyer must have excellent research and writing skills. Also, an appellate lawyer must thoroughly review the record, digest the transcript and spot issues that were or were not preserved for review. I believe it is important that a person convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison have a new set of eyes to look at the case. A trial lawyer may be too close to the case to realize that an issue has not been preserved.
My background is in writing and research. I have extensive experience in federal court where I was once employed as a staff attorney which required me to draft memoranda and orders for the court.
I Believe My Attorney Did A Bad Job At Trial And That’s Why I Was Found Guilty. What Can I Do?
For someone who hasn’t gone through the criminal justice system, it can be hard to understand what an appeal really means. An appeal is where you challenge the trial court’s errors after your conviction. If you have issues with your attorney’s performance these generally fall under what’s called ineffective assistance of counsel. Under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, you have the right not only to an attorney but to an effective attorney. If you think that your attorney did or did not do something that a reasonably competent attorney would or would not have done, and if you believe that it prejudiced your case, you generally wouldn’t be able to bring those issues in on a direct appeal.
On a direct appeal, you are going to be limited to the trial court transcript and what issues were preserved or not preserved. Issues of ineffective assistance of counsel are brought up in what’s called a postconviction proceeding. Unlike an appeal, you have no right to a postconviction proceeding; they are created by federal or state law. Although some states do allow ineffective assistance of counsel claims to be raised on direct review, neither the Missouri Court of Appeals nor the federal courts of appeals allow such claims.
If you do not get relief on your direct appeal in state or federal court in Missouri, then you can file a postconviction motion. In Missouri, you can file two different statutory postconviction motions. One can be filed after a guilty plea to challenge the voluntariness of your plea or sentencing error. The other motion can be filed to challenge your conviction and sentence after a jury trial. In both motions, you can argue that your attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel. In addition to direct appeals, I am also very experienced in handling post-conviction cases. I have filed post-conviction motions throughout the State of Missouri and in federal district courts including the Eastern District of Missouri, Western District of Missouri, Southern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, Eastern District of Michigan and the Northern District of Georgia.
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