An appeal is a legal proceeding that happens after a final judgment is
made in the District Court. It is available to either party
- the losing party may appeal in an attempt to overturn the trial
court's decision and the prevailing party may appeal in an attempt to
gain more relief than the court awarded. Appellate practice is
notably different than trial practice. In many instances, it is a
good idea to retain new counsel to handle the appeal, as the first step
of an appeal is a critical review of the existing record.
Appeals are limited to the record as it exists. Generally,
speaking, neither party is permitted to introduce new evidence into the
record that was not considered during the trial. The reason for
this rule flows directly from the dual role of the trial court - to
determine the facts by evaluating the credibility of the evidence and
apply those facts to the law. The appellate court gives deference
to the trial court as far as factual issues are concerned, but reserves
the application of law to itself.
Therefore, representation in this area begins with the timely filing of
a filing of a petition in error. The appellate attorney then
conducts a thorough review of the record - which requires the review of
all transcripts, depositions and all evidence that have been introduced
at the trial court. A brief is prepared and submitted to the
appellate court. All issues to be considered must be raised in
this brief or they are waived. The appellate court then considers
the briefs of all parties and determines if oral argument is required.
If so, oral argument is scheduled before the appellate court. The
appellate court then enters its decision.
Before hiring an attorney, it is important to know if the attorney has
had any success in the area. John Dunn has recently been
awarded the 2013 OCDLA Thurgood Marshall Award for his outstanding
John Dunn's firm successfully appealed a District Court's decision to
take away his client's driver's license.
John Dunn and associate Stephanie Bush successfully convinced the Court
of Civil Appeals that the crime of "Actual Physical Control" requires
some intent to drive.
John Dunn and MJ Denman successfully convinced the Oklahoma Court of
Criminal Appeals that the State is required to establish the reliability
of the evidence it offers at preliminary hearing in order to bind the
Defendant over to district court.
John Dunn made law by successfully arguing that the Oklahoma Sex
Offender Registration was so punitive that it could not be applied
retroactively without violating the ex post facto clause of the
Oklahoma constitution. This opinion makes Oklahoma one of the
few states that has found their law to be punitive.
Mr. Dunn has additionally prepared a
"question and answer" page about this opinion.
John Dunn successfully represented a client that had been defaulted by
the District Court for failure to timely answer a Petition.
John Dunn successfully argued that his client had not received the
notice required by law and that as a result, they were entitled to be
heard. Mr. Dunn will now get the opportunity to represent his
client in litigation that they were previously denied.
Contact John Dunn to discuss your appellate case