While working as a law clerk at the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, New Orleans criminal defense lawyer Alex K. Kriksciun reviewed hundreds of criminal appellate briefs and drafted scores of opinions and memoranda making recommendations to the court about how to proceed. As a private lawyer, Alex K. Kriksciun has represented clients at the intermediate appellate courts and the Louisiana Supreme Court.
If a person is convicted of a felony after a jury or bench trial, he or she is entitled to appeal to one of the five Louisiana Courts of Appeal. The Louisiana appellate process has its own set of procedural rules, substantive rules, and deadlines. If you or someone you care about is interested in appealing a recent conviction, it is imperative that you seek out a lawyer that is familiar with the process.
Whatever the result of the appeal, the losing party has the right to file a writ of certiorari with the Louisiana Supreme Court. The Supreme Court may grant the writ and agree to hear the case, or (as happens in most cases), deny the writ and decline to hear the case.
Appellate advocacy is very different than advocacy at the trial court level. In an appeal, you need to convince the judges why the court below made a mistake, not why your client is not guilty of the charged offense. Appellate work is time-consuming, research-intensive, and often extremely complicated. The most important task is to point to previous legal decisions supporting your client and arguing that your client should be afforded the same benefit, or to distinguish unfavorable rulings from your client's case.