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Appeals

In addition to trial level civil matters, the Roch Law Firm has a robust appellate practice representing both civil and criminal litigants on appeal. While most of the firm’s new business involving appeals comes from referrals from other attorneys or from the court system itself, I am happy to talk to individuals about their situation to see if I can help.

There are strict timelines on when an appeal must be filed so if you want to have an attorney review your case, you must act as soon as possible.

Appeals occur when a litigant is unhappy with a judgment or other decision in a lower court and that litigant wants a higher court to review the case to see if any errors were made. Occasionally, relief may be obtained from the lower court itself – usually through a process involving a Motion for New Trial.

Ultimately, the goal of appeal is to have the lower court’s judgment reversed or modified by the higher court. The process of obtaining this review is called Appeal. Usually, when the higher court reaches its own decision, it will release a written opinion that is binding on lower court.

Notable decisions from Appellate Courts in matters previously handled by Don Roch include:

  • Hobbs. v. State – 299 Ga. App. 521 (2009) (granting new trial for failure to give full good character jury instruction)
  • State v. Hobbs – 288 Ga. 551 (2010) (Ga. Supreme Court affirming Court of Appeals grant of new trial below on good character instruction)
  • Warren. v. State – 294 Ga. 589 (2014) (Ga. Supreme Court decision holding that O.C.G.A. §16-12-81 does not apply to text messages). This decision resulted in a complete dismissal of charges against this defendant.
  • Williams v. Williams – 295 Ga. 113 (2014) – (Reversal of lower court order limiting visitation in a custody matter as reversing award of attorney fees to other side)
  • Harrell v. Harrell – S14D0718 (Ga. Supreme Court granted discretionary review of appeal of award of attorney fees). This order resulted in a compromise settlement that greatly reduced the award in exchange for withdrawing the appeal.
  • Gardner v. State – 259 Ga. App. 375 (2003) (Reversal of prison sentence at probation revocation hearing because violation did not involve a violation of a “special condition of probation”).

Notable Relief at the trial court level on Motion for New Trial:

  • E.T. – 07-CR-0208 – Cherokee County Superior Court – Consent order cutting defendant’s sentence in half in lieu of proceeding with appeal.
  • W.F. – 12-M-0849 – Cherokee County State Court – Grant of Motion for New Trial. This resulted in all charges dismissed against defendant.
  • J.T. – 09-CV-175514 – Fulton County Superior Court review of City of Atlanta conviction for traffic offense. The Defendant’s Motion for New Trial was granted on the ground that there was insufficient evidence to sustain the conviction. This resulted in the defendant’s charge being dismissed and his driving history being corrected to remove the conviction.
  • M.D. – 00SC06152 – Fulton County Superior Court – Grant of Motion for New Trial as to Sentencing which cut defendant’s prison sentence from 10 years to 5 years.