One of the biggest reasons why a lot of folks do not go for top lawyers is their fear of the fees they will have to pay. Many have lost cases they had no business losing simply because they went to cheap attorneys because they believed that those were the kinds of representation they could afford.

For those whose hope rests on the outcome of an appeal or those who have a chance to seek redress at a higher court, you cannot afford to make the same mistake you made in the first place. Choosing the most suitable representation should be a non-negotiable point.

While we must always cut our coat according to our size (or our cloth) as the adage says, it pays to have a good understanding of what exactly we are looking at when we talk about fees for appellate attorneys. With a good understanding of this subject, we will be in a better position to make the right decision in our choice of representation.

Understand What An Appeal Is

This is actually the basis on which much of what you will need to consider prior to pursuing an appeal should be based on. An appeal is not a fresh trial of a case. If the trial attorney did a terrible job of presenting your case your only basis for appealing the judgment will be that you had terrible legal representation. Whether this will lead to an order for a retrial or an overturn of the judgment already given is another matter.

An appeal is essentially a call to a higher court to scrutinize the court proceedings of the lower court, focusing on areas upon which you based your appeal. These bases will be figured out by experienced appellate attorneys.

Determine If The Appeal Is Worth It

Filing an appeal is not something that should be done on a whim. You must have considered all angles and arrived at the conclusion that it is indeed in your best overall benefit to appeal. Here are a few things to consider.

In a criminal case for which an accused can be sentenced to jail time and also have the term “ex-convict” in their record even after having served time, doing everything possible to ensure this is avoided is understandable.

In other matters, especially civil cases that require compensations to be paid or received, it is important to look at the expected compensation or payment to be made and compare that with what engaging an attorney to file an appeal will cost.

If you will spend more money paying a lawyer than you will spend paying off the fine or compensation, it may be wiser to simply pay and get on with your life. That’s simple economics.

In the same vein, if you are expecting some compensation to be paid to you and what you will be spending on attorney fees will wipe out whatever settlement you can hope to get, it may just be a wise economic decision to let the matter die.

For criminal case, an appeal should be based on solid grounds as provided by the law. How then can one decide if an appeal will be worth it or not?

Consult An Attorney

This is the right thing to do before making any decisions. On the average, you can get solid legal counsel for between $300 and $500. During this consultation time, you can present the entire case and then allow the attorney (who should understand the process of appealing a case) help you make the right decision.

One of the things that people hope for is that upon their appealing a judgment, they will also be awarded attorney fees on appeal. While this may happen, you should also be aware that this can be awarded against you, meaning that you will then be required to pay the attorney fees of the appellee’s counsel.

This is a good point at which to carefully examine every possibility with an attorney and be sure that your decision to proceed is based on facts and not emotions.


What you are likely going to spend on appellate attorney fees will differ from firm to firm be it a criminal appeals law firm or otherwise. Factors like experience, track record, size of firm and others will determine what each firm will charge in fees.

Using the few points we have discussed above, determine what you stand to benefit from the appeal should you win it and then compare this with the cost of getting good appellate lawyers. You can also reach out to a number of firms to get an idea of the different fees charged.

When you have carefully look at these factors, you should find it a lot easier to make a decision on what fees fall within the limits of reason for you and your case.

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