Legal Terms


A defendant who loses at trial can appeal the conviction, which means the defendant can ask the Oregon Court of Appeals – and sometimes the Oregon Supreme Court – to reverse the conviction and/or the sentence. There are limits regarding what the Court of Appeals will consider on appeal. Usually, they will only consider mistakes of law by the trial judge; the fact that the jury “got it wrong” is not something the Court of Appeals will review, unless somehow the jury’s mistake can be blamed on the trial judge.

Should the attorney who handled the trial do the appeal?  Most trial attorneys do not do appeals, so it’s often not even an option.  Whether an attorney should handle the appeal for a trial he or she lost depends on a number of factors, including the relationship between the trial attorney and the client and whether the trial attorney is going to have the necessary objectivity to make the hard decisions on appeal.   If I did not handle the trial, but you are considering retaining me to do the appeal, I will often ask permission to talk to the trial attorney before quoting the fee.