If you or a loved one have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense in state court or in federal court in New York or New Jersey, you are facing life-altering repercussions from severe prison sentences to lifelong implications with respect to employment and other fundamental aspects of life.  Similarly, if a judge has ruled against you in a Family Court matter, divorce, personal injury case, or other civil matter, the consequences can be devastating.

The Law Office of Samuel S. Coe focuses on appeals in state and federal courts in New York and New Jersey. The firm has represented individuals appealing criminal convictions, violations of probation, sentences, Habeas Corpus denials, Family Court decisions, dismissals of personal injury claims, as well as other post-conviction matters in criminal cases such as Motions to Set Aside a Verdict under CPL 330.30, Motions to Vacate a Judgment under CPL 440.10, and Motions to Seal a criminal conviction under CPL 160.59.

Each and every person who stands convicted of a criminal offense has a right to appeal, as does every person who has an adverse final judgment in a family matter or other civil matter. Appellate practice is fundamentally different from trial work. From the careful and detailed legal analysis of court records and transcripts, to effective and compelling legal writing, Mr. Coe provides thoughtful and creative appellate counsel and advocacy. In addition, Mr. Coe’s extensive trial-level experience gives him a unique insight into the actual, real-world process of handling a case through trial, which is invaluable when assessing any potential grounds for appeal.

The first step in the assessment of a potential review is obtaining and reviewing the Record on Appeal, including all of the various court documents and filings by the parties and the transcripts of all prior court appearances, hearings and the trial itself. Just the collecting of these materials can be a time-consuming a difficult process. Once the Record is compiled, a careful review of the materials is undertaken, working hand in hand with the client who can often provide invaluable guidance and insight into the prior proceedings and issues that arose throughout the life of the case at the trial stage. Once the review is complete, an assessment of the various grounds for appeal and their viability must be done. If there are one or more viable grounds for an appeal are identified, and the decision is made to pursue the appeal, an appellate brief will be drafted and filed with the appellate court and served on the opposing counsel. The appeal can then proceed to oral argument, and ultimately a decision by the appellate court.

A typical appellate brief will include a Statement of Facts and Legal Argument. While the focus of any appellate attorney or appellate court will understandably be the legal argument, a well-crafted statement of facts is essential and often neglected area of appellate writing and practice. Setting the stage for the legal arguments, and providing the appellate court with an accurate and persuasive outline of the circumstances of the case can go just as far as carefully researched and articulated legal arguments.

The procedures and rules of the appellate courts, including the First Department and Second Department, as well as the Third Circuit and Second Circuit, are specific and strict. These rules must be closely adhered to in order to avoid the appellate court rejecting a brief or appeal. The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court is organized into four Departments, which divide the state geographically. The First Department encompasses Manhattan and the Bronx, and the Second Department encompasses Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, and much of the Hudson Valley including Rockland County and Westchester County. The Third and Fourth Departments cover the remainder of upstate  New York. Similarly, the federal appellate courts, or Circuit Courts, divide up the nation geographically, with the Third Circuit covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands, and the Second Circuit covering New York, Connecticut and Vermont.