There are two levels of courts in the state of Georgia: the trial courts and the appellate courts. All divorce, paternity, legitimation, and modification actions start in the Superior level of trial courts. Because judges are human, they sometimes make mistakes in these cases. However, just because a judge makes a mistake in your case, does not mean that you have no remedy. The decisions of the trial judges can be reviewed by the appellate courts: the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Court of Appeals of Georgia.
Each of the appellate courts has its own, unique set of rules and procedures governing which cases it will review as well as under what circumstances it will review them. Unlike other areas of civil litigation, except issues involving custody, parties in domestic relations cases must apply to these appellate courts for permission to appeal; there is no direct right of appeal. Notwithstanding, under a pilot project, the Supreme Court of Georgia is presently accepting non-frivolous appeals of domestic relations cases. Custody cases are now directly appealable to the appellate courts.
A party will not be able to appeal simply because he/she did not like the outcome of his/her trial. Typically, an error of law must be alleged. Examples of errors of law include, but are not limited to, a judge misapplying a particular statute, hearsay evidence being improperly admitted, or a court improperly exercising jurisdiction over another party. Of course, there are times when an appeal will lie simply because there was no, or insufficient, evidence presented at trial to sustain the court’s judgment.
In recent years, our office has had much success in its appellate practice, in which its attorneys have successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court of Georgia, including,
- Davis vs. LaBrec, 274 Ga. 5, 549 S.E.2d 76 (2001)
- Conrad vs. Conrad, 278 Ga. 107, 597 S.E.2d 369 (2004)
- Foster vs. Gidewon, 280 Ga. 21, 622 S.E.2d 357 (2005)
- Carlson vs. Carlson, S07F0048 (2007)
- Farris vs. Farris, 285 Ga. 331, 676 S.E.2d 212 (2009)
- Doane vs. LeCornu, S11A0488 (2011)
- Doane vs. LeCornu, 289 Ga. 379, 711 S.E.2d 673 (2011)
- Ivery vs. Brown, 307 Ga.App. 732, 706 S.E.2d 120 (2011)
In addition, this office has been successful before the Court of Appeals of Georgia as well, including
- LaBrec vs. Davis, 243 Ga.App. 307, 534 S.E.2d 84 (2000)
- Ramos vs. Perera, A03A2189 (2004) (not officially reported)
- Ivery vs. Brown, A10A2298 (2011)