Appeal

After trial, if a party disagrees with the decision of the judge, that party may file a Notice of Appeal within thirty (30) days of entry of the written judgment. Appeals are handled by a separate panel of appellate judges in another courthouse altogether. Certain attorneys assist with a divorce only until trial, then a trial attorney is retained. Certain attorneys will conduct the trial of a case but not provide appellate services. Ruggiero & Associates, P.C. competently handles all aspects of divorce litigation. The appeal is expensive. The entire trial court file has to be sent to the appellate court. All the testimony has to be transcribed (so the court reporter's fees are expensive). Then a generally lengthy, complex appellate brief needs to be prepared with specific references to the specific pages in the transcripts to which the appellate argument is directed, and case and statutory citations need to be prepared to support the arguments, and bate-stamped (numbered) exhibits for use by the appellate judges need to be organized and referenced. The appellate court generally takes six (6) to twelve (12) months to render its decision after the point it receives all appellate briefs, which takes the attorneys a few months to prepare and write in a divorce case. If a party does not agree with the appellate decision, there is always the possibility of an appeal to the Illinois supreme court, but that court often refuses to take on an appeal from the appellate court unless the issue presented for appeal is quite narrow and has broad public interest.

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