Commercial / Business Appeals Attorney in Jacksonville

The Roth Law Firm Handles Appeals!

The rights and relationships of businesses living and breathing in our economy are complicated. When conflicts arise, the Courts do not always get it right.

Appeals are completely different from what you might have experienced in the trial court. In a way, appeals have a different purpose. Of course, your purpose is always to win, and ours is always to give you the best chances to do so. But appeals achieve that with a completely different philosophy. Appellate law involves a new kind of process for someone who just experienced a trial.

At the Roth Law Firm, we have developed the skills, nurtured the inclination, and accumulated the experience to best represent you in your appeal. We sharpen those skills every day. We are dedicated to our understanding of the law, to an obsessive research of the legal questions raised in your appeal, and to the art of persuasive writing to present your arguments to three judges’ inquisitive minds.

Contact Us to Arrange a Consultation
904-595-7900

The Roth Law Firm can handle appeals from lawsuits on commercial matters on any of the nearly infinite issues that can arise in the business world, including in the areas of:

  • Jury instructions
  • Admissibility of evidence
  • Decisions made during discovery
  • Sufficiency of pleadings
  • Amount of damages
  • Attorneys’ fees
  • Interpretation of the governing statutes
  • Interpretation of contracts

  • Those issues can arise in a wide variety of legal arenas involving businesses. Some of the most frequent, but by all means not an all-inclusive list, are:

  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Partnership or shareholders disputes (which we lovingly call corporate divorces)
  • Employment questions
  • Disputes involving land
  • Construction defects
  • False advertising

  • We represent businesses on appeals from commercial matters in front of all five district courts of appeal, depending on where the trial took place.

  • The First District, which is based in Tallahassee, hears appeals from cases originating in Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington Counties.
  • The Second District with offices in Lakeland and Tampa covers five judicial circuits comprising Pasco, Pinellas Hardee, Highlands, Polk, DeSoto, Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Charlotte, Glades, Collier, Hendry, and Lee Counties.
  • The Third District in Miami hears appeals from Dade and Monroe Counties.
  • The Fourth District works form West Palm Beach and covers Palm Beach, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties.
  • The Fifth District in Daytona hears appeals from cases that started in Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Lake, Marion, Sumter, Citrus, Brevard, and Seminole Counties.

  • We also represent our clients before the Florida Supreme Court whenever it may be called for. The Supreme Court will hear cases that involve constitutional issues and others where the various District Courts disagreed on a question of law. When confronted with those questions, we will take your case as far as it needs to go.

    If the trial proceedings took place in Federal Court, Mr. Roth practices before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which covers all of Florida (as well as Alabama and Georgia).

    Before the Trial Court

    If you are looking at an appeal, you received a final judgment, either for or against you, following proceedings in trial court. It capped a long and laborious process that lead to either trial before a judge or a jury, or a summary decision by the judge based on undisputed facts. You probably know more about the legal system than you ever wanted to.

    That process had a singular purpose. It aimed to develop the facts that would enable the judge to rule. You went through discovery, developed evidence, fought about what could or could not be admitted. There were depositions and documents galore.

    Unless the facts were undisputed and the judge could rule on the papers, you then had a trial involving live testimony. It wasn’t quite “Law & Order” but the process may have looked familiar. If a jury was involved, it there was a process to select the jurors. At trial, each witness was examined then cross-examined by the attorneys. Evidence was presented. The jury received its instructions from the judge. At the end, the judge or jury rendered a verdict.


    The Appeal

    The Nature of an Appeal

    An appeal is different. It is started by the person against whom the trial court ruled. That party is now known as the appellant. The party who prevailed before the Trial Court will respond and is called the appellee.

    There will be no new evidence, no testimony taken in court, no new document or physical evidence produced. The sole purpose of the Appellate Court is to determine whether or not the Trial Court committed an error of law. The facts are already established.

    What is important to notice here is that we talk about errors of law. The facts are already established. And it is not an error of law for the trial judge to have believed one side over the other.

    The Process

    The Appellate Process has its own intricacies but is fairly linear as well. You can divide it into five steps.

    The first step is to gather the record—all those documents, transcripts, and papers accumulated during the proceedings before the Trial Court. Nothing may be added, but (nearly) everything that came in will be available for review by the Appellate Court.

    The second step is for the appellant to write their first brief, called the initial brief. There are very strict rules governing how briefs are written. It is a job best left to appellate experts. That initial brief will explain what happened below, lay out the facts that were established by the documents and testimonies, and then argue what legal mistake or mistakes the Court committed.

    The next step is for the appellee to write their brief, called the answer brief. It is similarly formatted and the argument will be focused on why the Court was right and the appellant is wrong.

    Step four, the last brief, known as the reply brief, is again written by the appellant and is limited to addressing new issues raised by the answer. It is not an opportunity to rehash what was said in the initial brief.

    The last step is the oral argument. Again in a departure from what happened before the Trial Court, time actually in court in an appeal is extremely short. All that has taken place so far happened in writing. Oral argument may, in fact, not take place at all. If it does, each side will have twenty minutes in front of a panel of three appellate judges to answer their questions and explain one last time why the arguments they made in their respective briefs should carry the day.

    The Skill Set

    As is hopefully evident from all this, the skill set to win an appeal is different from the one to win at trial. We are now talking to three judges with legal training and a vast experience in the law, not to a jury. And we are doing so nearly entirely in writing.

    The skills we bring to bear are a deep knowledge of the law, an ability and disposition to research the legal questions down every possible avenue, and a passion for clear and persuasive writing. These are the skills we hone every day to best represent you in your appeal.


    Appellate Issues in Commercial Cases

    Legal issues arising in commercial cases are as varied and complicated as the business world we live in. There is no end to the variety of the questions of law the appellate courts will be tasked to rule on.

    Certain subjects return more frequently than others. We could not begin to address all of those. Nevertheless, a few examples below will illustrate some of the topics on which appellate judges may be called upon to rule.

    Jury Instructions.

    The jury, if one was empaneled, was charged with determining what the facts were, then render a verdict based on the judges’ instructions on the law. It is little wonder that allegedly erroneous jury instructions are often grounds for appeals. Did the instructions fairly reflect applicable law? Were they limited to the law or did they intrude on the jury’s responsibility to decide the facts? Did a missing instruction confuse the jury? Conversely, did the facts support giving this or that specific instruction?

    Discovery.

    Decisions on discovery can affect the entire proceeding and are generally appealed after trial (with few exceptions). Was a discovery violation prejudicial? Should it have been sanctioned and what sanction was appropriate? If the Court restricted discovery, did it do so properly? Did it correctly allow (or disallow) discovery responses to be amended? Was it correct to sustain (or overrule) objections to discovery requests?

    Pleadings.

    Pleadings—the complaint, answer, counterclaims, and defenses—start the proceedings before the trial courts. They are the very first documents filed. They have consequences all the way to the appellate courts, where questions may include: Did the judge rule on the claims, counterclaims, and defenses that were in fact pled? Were pleadings properly allowed (or disallowed) to be amended? Some defenses must be plead to be argued. They are called affirmative defenses. If the court ruled for the defendant based on a given defense, was it an affirmative defense? And if so, was it pled?

    Damages.

    Commercial disputes are generally about money, so rulings on the amount of damages are frequent subjects for appeal. Even in run-of-the-mill commercial disputes, there may be different kinds of damages involved: direct, indirect, consequential, exemplary, statutory etc. which must be properly allowed or disallowed. Did the judge do that correctly? With multiple defendants, who is legally responsible for damages? Was the Court right, if it did so, to increase or decrease the award made by the jury? Were non-economic damages supported by precedent?

    Statutory Interpretation.

    Interpretation by the trial judge of a rule or statute is always a question of law. It is therefore always reviewable. If a trial court ruled that a party complied with a statute on settlement offers, the appellate courts will review this ruling from scratch and decide the question anew. If a trial court interpreted conditions imposed by a statute on deposits made to real estate developers, the appellate courts may take a fresh look at what the statute says—what the conditions are—and decide whether or not they were complied with. If a regulated business is found in violation of its rules, again, the appellate courts may take a fresh look at the regulation’s meaning. There are thousands of statutory and regulatory provisions open to interpretation. They are all subject to appellate review.

    Contract interpretation.

    Like statutes and rules, contracts are interpreted as a matter of law. A wrinkle here is that if a contract is too vague to be sure of what it means, the Court or Jury will then treat the parties’ intent as a fact to be determined. That creates new questions for appellate judges. Was the contract vague enough to allow for outside evidence? Who should be allowed to testify about it? What kind of evidence should be allowed to figure out what the parties meant?

    Evidence.

    In commercial matters as in every other area of law, questions routinely arise concerning the admission of evidence. This includes both documentary evidence and the decision to hear testimony in response to a given question over the other side’s objection. Was the evidence relevant? Was it prejudicial? Was the evidence proven authentic? Was there proper foundation for its admission? Was the question a topic for expert or lay testimony?


    We Are Ready to Help You

    At the Roth Law Firm, we have made appeals a focus of our constant dedication. Whatever your issue coming out of commercial litigation, whether you recognized it in our few examples or not, give us a call so we can help you understand what your appeal will entail and handle it from start to finish.

    The Roth Law Firm Handles Appeals!

    The rights and relationships of businesses living and breathing in our economy are complicated. When conflicts arise, the Courts do not always get it right.

    Appeals are completely different from what you might have experienced in the trial court. In a way, appeals have a different purpose. Of course, your purpose is always to win, and ours is always to give you the best chances to do so. But appeals achieve that with a completely different philosophy. Appellate law involves a new kind of process for someone who just experienced a trial.

    At the Roth Law Firm, we have developed the skills, nurtured the inclination, and accumulated the experience to best represent you in your appeal. We sharpen those skills every day. We are dedicated to our understanding of the law, to an obsessive research of the legal questions raised in your appeal, and to the art of persuasive writing to present your arguments to three judges’ inquisitive minds.

    Contact Us to Arrange a Consultation
    904-595-7900

    Passionate, Honest and Dedicated Legal Services Tailored to Your Specific Needs

    Using our years of experience, the Roth Law firm serves appellants and appellees in commercial appeals. We provide experienced legal counsel communicating honest opinions and delivering to each client the personalized service and the dedication only a smaller law firm can provide.

    The Roth Law Firm can handle appeals from lawsuits on commercial matters on any of the nearly infinite issues that can arise in the business world, including in the areas of:

  • Jury instructions
  • Admissibility of evidence
  • Decisions made during discovery
  • Sufficiency of pleadings
  • Amount of damages
  • Attorneys’ fees
  • Interpretation of the governing statutes
  • Interpretation of contracts

  • Those issues can arise in a wide variety of legal arenas involving businesses. Some of the most frequent, but by all means not an all-inclusive list, are:

  • Breach of contract
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Partnership or shareholders disputes (which we lovingly call corporate divorces)
  • Employment questions
  • Disputes involving land
  • Construction defects
  • False advertising

  • We represent businesses on appeals from commercial matters in front of all five district courts of appeal, depending on where the trial took place.

  • The First District, which is based in Tallahassee, hears appeals from cases originating in Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington Counties.
  • The Second District with offices in Lakeland and Tampa covers five judicial circuits comprising Pasco, Pinellas Hardee, Highlands, Polk, DeSoto, Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Charlotte, Glades, Collier, Hendry, and Lee Counties.
  • The Third District in Miami hears appeals from Dade and Monroe Counties.
  • The Fourth District works form West Palm Beach and covers Palm Beach, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties.
  • The Fifth District in Daytona hears appeals from cases that started in Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, Lake, Marion, Sumter, Citrus, Brevard, and Seminole Counties.

  • We also represent our clients before the Florida Supreme Court whenever it may be called for. The Supreme Court will hear cases that involve constitutional issues and others where the various District Courts disagreed on a question of law. When confronted with those questions, we will take your case as far as it needs to go.

    If the trial proceedings took place in Federal Court, Mr. Roth practices before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which covers all of Florida (as well as Alabama and Georgia).

    Before the Trial Court

    If you are looking at an appeal, you received a final judgment, either for or against you, following proceedings in trial court. It capped a long and laborious process that lead to either trial before a judge or a jury, or a summary decision by the judge based on undisputed facts. You probably know more about the legal system than you ever wanted to.

    That process had a singular purpose. It aimed to develop the facts that would enable the judge to rule. You went through discovery, developed evidence, fought about what could or could not be admitted. There were depositions and documents galore.

    Unless the facts were undisputed and the judge could rule on the papers, you then had a trial involving live testimony. It wasn’t quite “Law & Order” but the process may have looked familiar. If a jury was involved, it there was a process to select the jurors. At trial, each witness was examined then cross-examined by the attorneys. Evidence was presented. The jury received its instructions from the judge. At the end, the judge or jury rendered a verdict.


    The Appeal

    The Nature of an Appeal

    An appeal is different. It is started by the person against whom the trial court ruled. That party is now known as the appellant. The party who prevailed before the Trial Court will respond and is called the appellee.

    There will be no new evidence, no testimony taken in court, no new document or physical evidence produced. The sole purpose of the Appellate Court is to determine whether or not the Trial Court committed an error of law. The facts are already established.

    What is important to notice here is that we talk about errors of law. The facts are already established. And it is not an error of law for the trial judge to have believed one side over the other.

    The Process

    The Appellate Process has its own intricacies but is fairly linear as well. You can divide it into five steps.

    The first step is to gather the record—all those documents, transcripts, and papers accumulated during the proceedings before the Trial Court. Nothing may be added, but (nearly) everything that came in will be available for review by the Appellate Court.

    The second step is for the appellant to write their first brief, called the initial brief. There are very strict rules governing how briefs are written. It is a job best left to appellate experts. That initial brief will explain what happened below, lay out the facts that were established by the documents and testimonies, and then argue what legal mistake or mistakes the Court committed.

    The next step is for the appellee to write their brief, called the answer brief. It is similarly formatted and the argument will be focused on why the Court was right and the appellant is wrong.

    Step four, the last brief, known as the reply brief, is again written by the appellant and is limited to addressing new issues raised by the answer. It is not an opportunity to rehash what was said in the initial brief.

    The last step is the oral argument. Again in a departure from what happened before the Trial Court, time actually in court in an appeal is extremely short. All that has taken place so far happened in writing. Oral argument may, in fact, not take place at all. If it does, each side will have twenty minutes in front of a panel of three appellate judges to answer their questions and explain one last time why the arguments they made in their respective briefs should carry the day.

    The Skill Set

    As is hopefully evident from all this, the skill set to win an appeal is different from the one to win at trial. We are now talking to three judges with legal training and a vast experience in the law, not to a jury. And we are doing so nearly entirely in writing.

    The skills we bring to bear are a deep knowledge of the law, an ability and disposition to research the legal questions down every possible avenue, and a passion for clear and persuasive writing. These are the skills we hone every day to best represent you in your appeal.


    Appellate Issues in Commercial Cases

    Legal issues arising in commercial cases are as varied and complicated as the business world we live in. There is no end to the variety of the questions of law the appellate courts will be tasked to rule on.

    Certain subjects return more frequently than others. We could not begin to address all of those. Nevertheless, a few examples below will illustrate some of the topics on which appellate judges may be called upon to rule.

    Jury Instructions.

    The jury, if one was empaneled, was charged with determining what the facts were, then render a verdict based on the judges’ instructions on the law. It is little wonder that allegedly erroneous jury instructions are often grounds for appeals. Did the instructions fairly reflect applicable law? Were they limited to the law or did they intrude on the jury’s responsibility to decide the facts? Did a missing instruction confuse the jury? Conversely, did the facts support giving this or that specific instruction?

    Discovery.

    Decisions on discovery can affect the entire proceeding and are generally appealed after trial (with few exceptions). Was a discovery violation prejudicial? Should it have been sanctioned and what sanction was appropriate? If the Court restricted discovery, did it do so properly? Did it correctly allow (or disallow) discovery responses to be amended? Was it correct to sustain (or overrule) objections to discovery requests?

    Pleadings.

    Pleadings—the complaint, answer, counterclaims, and defenses—start the proceedings before the trial courts. They are the very first documents filed. They have consequences all the way to the appellate courts, where questions may include: Did the judge rule on the claims, counterclaims, and defenses that were in fact pled? Were pleadings properly allowed (or disallowed) to be amended? Some defenses must be plead to be argued. They are called affirmative defenses. If the court ruled for the defendant based on a given defense, was it an affirmative defense? And if so, was it pled?

    Damages.

    Commercial disputes are generally about money, so rulings on the amount of damages are frequent subjects for appeal. Even in run-of-the-mill commercial disputes, there may be different kinds of damages involved: direct, indirect, consequential, exemplary, statutory etc. which must be properly allowed or disallowed. Did the judge do that correctly? With multiple defendants, who is legally responsible for damages? Was the Court right, if it did so, to increase or decrease the award made by the jury? Were non-economic damages supported by precedent?

    Statutory Interpretation.

    Interpretation by the trial judge of a rule or statute is always a question of law. It is therefore always reviewable. If a trial court ruled that a party complied with a statute on settlement offers, the appellate courts will review this ruling from scratch and decide the question anew. If a trial court interpreted conditions imposed by a statute on deposits made to real estate developers, the appellate courts may take a fresh look at what the statute says—what the conditions are—and decide whether or not they were complied with. If a regulated business is found in violation of its rules, again, the appellate courts may take a fresh look at the regulation’s meaning. There are thousands of statutory and regulatory provisions open to interpretation. They are all subject to appellate review.

    Contract interpretation.

    Like statutes and rules, contracts are interpreted as a matter of law. A wrinkle here is that if a contract is too vague to be sure of what it means, the Court or Jury will then treat the parties’ intent as a fact to be determined. That creates new questions for appellate judges. Was the contract vague enough to allow for outside evidence? Who should be allowed to testify about it? What kind of evidence should be allowed to figure out what the parties meant?

    Evidence.

    In commercial matters as in every other area of law, questions routinely arise concerning the admission of evidence. This includes both documentary evidence and the decision to hear testimony in response to a given question over the other side’s objection. Was the evidence relevant? Was it prejudicial? Was the evidence proven authentic? Was there proper foundation for its admission? Was the question a topic for expert or lay testimony?


    We Are Ready to Help You

    At the Roth Law Firm, we have made appeals a focus of our constant dedication. Whatever your issue coming out of commercial litigation, whether you recognized it in our few examples or not, give us a call so we can help you understand what your appeal will entail and handle it from start to finish.


    Contact Us to Arrange a Consultation

    904-595-7900


    Contact Us to Arrange a Consultation

    904-595-7900