David J. Celuch
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Why is attention to detail so important when filing an appeal?

Going through a criminal trial in Oregon has been emotionally and mentally challenging. If an issue arose with the presentation of evidence, you may have felt devastated as you watched your case fall apart. In this case, you may naturally believe that if your trial had been fair, you would have prevailed, and so you prepare to file an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals.

While you do have the right to appeal your criminal conviction, the Oregon Rules of Appellate Procedure note that there is no guarantee that the panel of appellate judges will agree that the mistake made resulted in an unfair outcome. In your appellate brief, you must present your argument in clear, concise language, along with the trial records that support your claim. Your brief will be countered by the prosecutor's answering brief, so your argument must be well-prepared. 

Every document or other item you give to the court administrator for filing must conform exactly to the strict standards of the rules of procedure. Something is considered filed when it has been delivered to the administrator and he or she has received and accepted it. The administrator is likely to refuse to file something that is not in compliance. However, if you do make a mistake, you will typically be notified, and you will have 14 days to correct the error. 

Because factors such as deadlines, method of delivery, content of the appellate brief and many other matters may also affect whether an appeal is compliant, this general information should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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