Information for Representing Yourself in an Appeal
This website is designed to help you handle a civil appeal from the
Superior Court to the Supreme Court on your own. But the appeals process is complicated. Understanding
statutes and court rules and doing legal research can be difficult. Attorneys are trained for just this purpose. They know how to follow the
Appellate Rules, decide which issues to raise, write
briefs and how to argue the case. You should attempt to present your case
through an attorney if possible.
However, if you are going to represent yourself, you can succeed in bringing an appeal or responding to an appeal if your arguments are strong, you learn about the process, are organized and present your arguments clearly and concisely. It is important to:
- Educate yourself about all parts of the appeal. This website will help you understand how to start the appeal, how to write a brief, how to do an oral argument, and how to file a motion or opposition.
- Pay attention to all of the deadlines in your case. Missing a deadline can result in your appeal being dismissed or the court not considering your arguments.
- Organize yourself so you have all of the information to bring the appeal or respond to the appeal.
- Provide citations to the record, excerpt of record or transcript for every factual assertion you make in your brief.
- Send the opposing party a copy of every document you file at the Supreme Court. This includes the papers to start the appeal, all briefs and excerpts of record, the transcript if there is one, and any motions and affidavits. You must fill out a certificate of service for all filings showing what you gave the opposing party, when and whether you used the mail or hand-delivery.
- Consider finding an attorney who will provide unbundled legal services. This is also called discrete task representation. Basically instead of hiring an attorney for full representation, the client would hire the attorney to perform a specific service that they both agree upon. This may include providing legal advice, deciding points on appeal, drafting documents, doing legal research, or helping to prepare for oral argument.
| Rev. 19 December 2006
© Alaska Court System
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