Personal Injury – St. Louis Personal Injury Appeals Lawyer

What is an Insurance Coverage Dispute?

Insurance coverage disputes arise when someone has an insurance policy but is denied coverage when making a claim. In these situations, insurance companies will either contend that the insured doesn’t have the specific coverage he or she is looking for or will deny a claim in bad faith. Insurance companies have many tactics that are meant to wear down claimants into simply giving up on their insurance claims. Luckily, you can hire an attorney to help you get the coverage that you are requesting. If you receive an unfavorable outcome in your insurance coverage disputes case, then you can file an appeal with the appropriate appellate court to help get the outcome overturned and get your claim covered. If you have legal questions about insurance coverage disputes and how they’re appealed, then it is important to speak to an experienced appellate attorney right away.

What Kinds of Insurance Coverage Dispute Issues Can Be Appealed?

Before you file your insurance coverage dispute appeal, you need to understand what can be appealed and how the appellate process works. During the pretrial and trial phases of your case, the judge will likely make several decisions regarding pretrial motions or trial objections that your trial attorney made. Every one of these decisions is appealable and can be reversed by an appellate court. Whenever an attorney files a motion or makes an objection, he or she is making a record of the issues that become preserved for appeal. Appealable issues include:

  • Jury misconduct
  • Attorney misconduct
  • Judicial misconduct
  • Newly discovered evidence
  • A mistake in the application of the law

The most appealed issues relate to mistakes in the application and interpretation of the law and legal process. For an issue to be appealable, an attorney must have filed a motion or made an objection that was denied or overruled by the trial court judge. The trial court is where objections like this must be made, or you will likely lose your chance at appealing the issue.

If your trial attorney missed important objections or did not file appropriate motions, then your appeal may include a claim that his or her performance was below the minimum professional standard for attorneys. Appeals should not be pursued if you are simply unhappy with the outcome. To be successful in an appeal, you must demonstrate that specific mistakes were made in the application of law or legal standards, and further show how those mistakes affected the outcome of the trial.

How is an Insurance Coverage Dispute Appeal Different from a Trial?

Appeals are different from trials as they are mainly won and lost on paper, from pointed legal research and effective legal writing and analysis. Don’t expect to get another jury to hear your case at an appeal or have appellate judges simply feel bad for you. Juries don’t exist at the appeal stage, and there is typically no additional evidence admitted or examined during an appeal. At the trial stage, an attorney will try to convince a judge or group of jurors about their interpretation of the facts and circumstances. During an appeal, an experienced appellate attorney will attempt to convince appellate judges that legal mistakes were made and that overturning the trial verdict is necessary for the interests of justice. Trials can be dramatic and emotional, while appeals are generally a review of the trial judge’s performance in following black letter law and case precedents. Appellate decisions are important because they can become binding law in the jurisdiction if the issue is important to the public.

The Importance of Having Experienced Appellate Counsel

It is very uncommon to find a trial attorney that also regularly handles appeals. This is because the appeals process and rules are much different than what you will find at a trial. Appeals are largely a battle between appellate attorneys on each side using their legal research and writing skills. These skills are sharpened over time with experience writing and arguing appellate briefs. A proper appellate brief must include a table of contents, a list of citations for relevant cases and authorities, a summary of facts, and a legal analysis of the facts and the law.

You may have multiple reasons to appeal your case. Make sure you have an experienced appellate attorney on your side to help you focus on the strongest issues for appeal. Once these issues are chosen, you will then need to systematically argue and explain how and why the trial court got it wrong. You also need to show that the mistakes made a difference in the outcome of your case. You only get one chance at an appeal, so make sure that you do it with a highly experienced appellate counsel in your corner.

John Reeves; Reeves Law

As an appellate specialist, John Reeves provides consulting services to trial attorneys about preserving matters for appeal and drafting dispositive motions. His practice also includes serving as defense counsel in civil matters, including constitutional matters (§1983 litigation), commercial law, personal injury matters, municipal law, employment discrimination, and insurance coverage disputes.

After serving as an Assistant Missouri Attorney General for over six years, John entered private practice in 2015, opening his own firm in 2019. He has personally authored over 250 appellate briefs and has conducted oral arguments in all three districts of the Missouri Court of Appeals, the Missouri Supreme Court, and the federal Eighth Circuit. In addition, Mr. Reeves has personally authored both certiorari petitions and applications for extraordinary relief before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Reeves has also written numerous dispositive motions in both federal and state court.

In October 2019, Mr. Reeves co-founded the Missouri Bar’s Appellate Practice Committee, the first statewide organization in Missouri devoted to furthering professional development for attorneys in appellate matters. He presently serves as the committee’s co-chair.

Contact Reeves Law today to schedule an appointment to discuss your appeal or to have him sit in on your current trial and case.

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