Should I care about an appellate attorney's win-loss ratio?
No. The future of your appeal is dependent on many factors, including the law and the facts found in the trial court. Whether an attorney wins or loses may reflect more about the types of cases and client they work for rather than their appellate litigation skills. Therefore, evaluating an attorney's performance based on their win-loss record is not recommended.
Appellate Attorney William Driscoll accepts tough cases, including the appeal of criminal convictions and civil litigants challenging the trial court results. Appellate courts tend to affirm trial court judgments, presuming that the lower courts render competent decisions. It is much more difficult to prove a lower court judgment was wrong than to agree that it was right. Hence, a favorable win-loss record can easily be obtained by representing the victor in the lower court on appeal.
Clouding the issue further is that multiple results can be achieved in the same case. How does one compute the outcome of a case that is litigated in multiple appellate courts? There can be wins and losses along the way in the same case. In Massachusetts, an appeal can begin in the Appeals Court, further appellate review can be had in the Supreme Judicial Court, and the case can be presented to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Then there is the reality that the best lawyers take on some of the toughest cases, and sometimes they lose. In those cases, doe the fact that a loss occurred reflect on the lawyer's ability? Or is it a result of the attorney's courage and tenacity to fight for justice and their client's rights?
More answers to frequently ask questions about appeals are available on this website. If you have additional questions, or are ready to proceed with your appeal, call Appellate Attorney William Driscoll at 978-846-5184.