A Full-Service Civil Law Firm With Over 30 Years Of Experience

Appellate Law

CCRJ’s Appellate Philosophy

At Coombe, Curry, Rich, Jarvis, we have a history of experience successfully representing clients in appeals within Colorado’s appellate system. Whether we are seeking reversal of adverse rulings at the trial courts or defending our victories, our team knows what it takes to succeed on appeal. Led by partner Gregg Rich, our appellate attorneys focus on the issues that matter, separating the wheat from the chaff and homing in on what will make the difference with the appellate courts. Instead of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, at CCRJ, we prepare detailed and focused briefs that direct the appellate court to what matters. This gives us credibility with the courts even before we step foot in front of them for oral arguments. Once it is time to make our arguments, we concentrate on being fully prepared by knowing the entire record and considering all possible questions so there are no surprises and we explain to the appellate panel why it should rule in our clients’ favor.

Colorado And Federal Appellate System

Colorado’s state court system primarily has two tiers. The Court of Appeals handles most appeals from the state’s trial courts and some specialty courts. It addresses claims of legal error by the trial courts that affected the outcome of the proceedings below. Appeals to the Colorado Court of Appeals are by right, meaning all appeals will be heard. The Colorado Supreme Court can decide which cases to hear and will usually only take cases that involve unsettled questions of law or interpretation of statutes. On rare occasions, the Colorado Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, meaning appeals from the trial courts skip the Court of Appeals and go directly to the Supreme Court. The United States federal court system works similarly. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado is the federal trial court in Colorado. It hears cases in Denver, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Durango. Intermediate appeals from these courts as well as federal district courts in other western states, including Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, are heard at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Downtown Denver. The Supreme Court of the United States can choose to hear appeals from state supreme courts and the circuit courts of appeals. Of the many cases appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court, only very few are chosen to be heard there. The appellate process often takes significant time. It can be over a year from the time an appeal is filed at the intermediate court of appeals (state or federal) to the time that court issues a ruling. It can take an equal amount of time to have a case resolved at the Colorado or U.S. Supreme Court, assuming they choose to hear the case.

Utilizing Appellate Counsel

In complicated matters with significant legal issues, getting appellate counsel involved during the initial litigation process can be useful to help identify potential appellate issues and ensure a proper record is made and issues are preserved at the trial court. In all matters, experienced appellate counsel can identify the strongest issues for appeal and either prosecute or defend an appeal with the arguments most likely to sway the appellate panel. We also advise our clients of possible pitfalls of appellate rulings where a victory in the short term may have long-term unexpected consequences. To avoid those results, we advise our clients on possible settlement options while the appellate process is ongoing. No matter what the client’s goal may be, the appellate attorneys at CCRJ are here to help.