Cobb County Appellate Lawyer
The Supreme Court of Georgia is the highest State-level court in Georgia. For criminal cases, the only direct appeals that are heard by the Supreme Court are murder convictions and any case involving the constitutionality of a statute. The Supreme Court is comprised of seven Justices and the entire panel considers each and every case.
Appealing Your Case in the Supreme Court
Once a case gets docketed in the Supreme Court, the appealing party (appellant) has 20 days to file its brief, although extensions of time can be requested. Briefs in criminal cases have a maximum page limit of 50 pages.
The opposing party (appellee) has 40 days from the date of docketing to file its brief or 20 days after the appellant's brief is filed, whichever date comes later. The appellant may then file a reply brief within 20 days of the appellee brief.
Oral argument is not automatic, or required, on direct appeals to the Court. However, if either party requests oral argument it is typically granted.
For the specific rules of the Georgia Supreme Court, go here.
Petitioning for a Writ of Certiorari
If you lose your case at the Court of Appeals, you may be able to convince the Supreme Court to review the lower court's ruling. This is done by filing a petition for writ of certiorari. Such a petition must be filed in the Supreme Court within 20 days of the Court of Appeals' ruling on your case, or within 20 days of the denial of any motion for reconsideration you filed in the Court of Appeals.
Petitions for a writ of certiorari are granted "only in cases of great concern, gravity, or importance to the public." Your petition must clearly state why the issue or issues in your appeal meet this standard.
If the Supreme Court grants the petition, it does not mean that you have won your appeal. It means the Court has agreed to review your case. It then takes the form of a normal appeal, with both parties submitting briefs in support of their positions. Oral argument, however, is mandatory when the Court issues a writ of certiorari.
If you have lost your case in the Court of Appeals but feel that your case was decided incorrectly, contact Ben immediately to discuss the next steps.