Thursday, March 06, 2008

What is appealable? Recent Case

We all believe in the right to appeal. It applies to both sides and until we have an infallible local Judge the right to appeal permits us to point out legal errors the Judge made. Appeals, when we do not like the Judge's weighing the evidence are often foolish. The local Judge is the fact finder and higher courts seldom reverse the choices made on the evidence by the Judge. In other words you do not have the right to ask the higher court to try the case all over again. Instead appeals usually involve an assertion the Judge made a legal error that warrants reversal or another hearing. In the case decided today at the Court of Appeals the court pointed out that you cannot appeal a workers comp case when it is not timely. I am posting the decision here as an example of how complicated the workers comp system can be. If you read it you quickly realize that the decision may be proper but it may seem bewildering to the average person. Here the insurer lost the appeal but it also involved a complicated review by the Court of Appeals. It makes you want to say...please make the rules simple and clear so the system moves faster and with less confusion. As lawyers we love to question and challenge and analyze but the parties usually just want to move along matters.

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