Home            Steps of an Appeal
 
 The precise steps involved in an appeal are:
Filing the Notice of Appeal - The Notice of Appeal must be filed in the appropriate appeal court within 30 DAYS from the day that sentence was imposed by the trial court.

Applying for Bail Pending Appeal - An application for bail may be brought anytime after sentence is imposed. Minimize the time spent in jail by preparing the bail application well ahead of time. 

Obtaining the Transcript – the Transcript is a word-for-word reproduction of everything that was said during the trial. It can take several months for the transcripts to be produced, depending on the length of the trial. There is often little case preparation that can be done without the transcripts.

Obtaining the Original Exhibits from the trial court – Original Exhibits refer to all the court documents relating to the charge(s) and all exhibits filed as part of the trial. This material is forwarded from the trial court to the appeal court. This usually takes several weeks.

Compiling the Appeal Book – Once the Original Exhibits have been forwarded to the appeal court, the appellant (the party bringing the appeal) must obtain, reproduce and compile them into Appeal Books for all parties and the court. Together with the transcripts, this material sets out everything that happened at the trial and is sometimes referred to as the trial record. The case on appeal is limited to what is contained in the trial record - that is, no new testimony or other evidence may be considered by the appeal court (except in the most exceptional circumstances).

Filing the Appellant’s Factum – The party bringing the appeal will summarize the trial record and its legal arguments in a document called a factum, which is provided to the other side (the Respondent) and the court prior to the hearing. Preparing and writing the factum comprises the overwhelming bulk of the work on an appeal and is the most critical step in the process: it defines the entire case and is the framework by which the court will approach the appeal.

Filing the Appellant's Book of Authorities - Previous court decisions (called precedents) upon which the Appellant relies in support of his/her legal arguments are compiled in a casebook and provided to the Respondent and the court.

Filing the Respondent’s Factum – After receiving the Appellant’s factum, the responding party will set out its position in its own factum responding to the issues raised by the Appellant.

The Hearing – Also referred to as “oral argument,” the hearing takes place after all the materials have been filed. Each lawyer is assigned a time limit in which to set out his/her case to the appeal court and to answer any questions the judge(s) may have.  Typically the judge(s) will have read the parties' facta in advance of the hearing and have a good sense of what the case is about and where it will turn.

The Outcome – The court may render its decision on the same day as the hearing, but more often it will reserve judgment. This means that it will take some time to consider the case and issue its decision, or judgment, at a later date. It could be days, weeks or months.

 The information provided in this website is intended for general purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice on your specific case. Consult a licensed professional to discuss the circumstances of your particular case.

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