Criminal Appeals Quiz

Take our Criminal Appeals Quiz.  If you or someone close to you has been convicted of a crime, you probably have a lot of questions about trying to overturn the conviction.  Here are some common questions new clients have asked us.


Question One

My son’s criminal case went to trial. He was convicted. Now he wants to appeal. How do we do this? What’s the next step?


Your son’s trial attorney should file a “Notice of Appeal” within thirty days of his sentencing.  A Notice of Appeal is a simple piece of paper that basically says a defendant is appealing.

The next thing is to get a new lawyer for the appeal. You want an experienced “appellate lawyer,” a lawyer whose law practice focuses on appeals. At Bates & Riordan, we take care of everything related to the appeal, including filing a motion to appeal late, if an appeal hasn’t already been filed.

Click here to if you would like a free, no-obligation consultation.


Question Two

My lawyer did a great job at my trial.  Why should a get a new lawyer for my appeal?


There are two reasons why you should have a different lawyer for your appeal.

First, even the best attorneys sometimes make mistakes. It’s possible your attorney made a mistake and didn’t even know it. That’s why you want a new lawyer to take an independent, fresh look at your case. If your attorney made a mistake, then it’s our job to bring that up on appeal.

Second, appealing a case to the Supreme Judicial Court is a different legal skill than trying a case in front of a jury.  Some attorneys can do both.  But wouldn’t you want an attorney who focuses on appeals?

Click here to if you would like a free, no-obligation consultation.

Criminal Appeals Quiz: This is a photo of John Adams, criminal defense lawyer and second President of United States is shown in this photo. The statue is on display in Quincy City Hall Plaza

John Adams, criminal defense lawyer and second President of United States.  Quincy City Hall Plaza

Question Three

What is a “transcript?”  What does it look like?  Who makes it?


A transcript is a typewritten version of everything that’s said in court. It typically looks like this sample trial transcript.  A short hearing may only be a few pages.  A full court day could be 300 pages long.

The transcript is made by a “court reporter.”  That sounds like a news reporter, but it’s not. The court reporter is the person who was sitting in the front of the courtroom during the trial, near the witness stand. The reporter’s job was to record everything that was said during the trial, and who said it. Once an appeal is filed, the reporter prints everything out.

Click here to if you would like a free, no-obligation consultation.


Question Four

Okay.  The Notice of Appeal was filed and the court reporters finished typing the transcripts.  What’s next?


Now your case moves to a different court, either the Appeals Court or the Supreme Judicial Court.  Both courts are located in Boston.

At this point, we’re reading the transcripts, researching the law, meeting with our client, and planning the “brief.”  The brief is the legal document we file in court, where we explain your case to the appellate court, and we explain why your conviction should be reversed.  A brief typically looks like this sample appellate brief.

Click here to if you would like a free, no-obligation consultation.


Question 5

I’m locked up in prison.  How do I reach you?


Call us collect at 617-328-8080.  Our office telephone number is pre-programmed into the Massachusetts Department of Correction prison telephone system, so you don’t need to wait for our number to be added to your “PIN” list.

Or you can write to us at:

Bates & Riordan, LLP Attorneys
645 Hancock St.
Quincy, MA  02170

Contact us to if you would like a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Email us or call us at 617-328-8080

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