• Appeals


In our appellate practice, we service our trial-level clients as well as clients who hire us to handle their appeals exclusively. We have handled dozens of appeals in the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge our appellate work for yourself. You can hear Mark Begnaud’s argument at the Eleventh Circuit in December of 2019 HERE, where he successfully argued that a Cobb County jailer should not be protected by qualified immunity after he threw an older detainee across a jail call.

Or, you can read the 2018 Georgia Court of Appeals opinion HERE where Mark successfully had his client’s criminal gang act conviction reversed because the Atlanta Police Department committed a Brady violation, failing to turn over exculpatory evidence.

Our brief writing and oral advocacy experience make us go-to appellate attorneys in both state and federal cases.

Co-Counsel Arrangements

We work hand-in-hand with trial counsel at any point in litigation – whether during the trial phase, during an interlocutory appeal, or after a dismissal or trial – to develop a thorough appellate strategy. We provide value to co-counsel and their clients with flexible fee arrangements, where we share in the risk and the reward with co-counsel. If you run into a problem on a 12(b) or summary judgment motion and you fear that your case is running a high risk of dismissal, do not hesitate to reach out. We address complex 12(b) and summary judgment issues in a high percentage of our cases so we are regularly forced to fight, and win, dispositive motions. We pride ourselves on creative and innovative ways to overcome obstacles that may appear discouraging at first glance.

Civil Appeals

If you received a dismissal or an unsatisfactory verdict in your civil case, or if you won your civil case but the other side is appealing, please contact us immediately. There are timing deadlines that are running – now. We provide free consultations and are happy to talk with you to find out whether there may be a chance of reversing an unfavorable decision or verdict or upholding a favorable result.

Our lawyers understand that appellate practice is not like trial practice. The goal in the trial phase is, simply put, to win – to convince the jury that you were injured by the other party, that the other party was at fault, and that your injuries have a great deal of value. The goal in the appellate phase is different. If you have lost a trial and are appealing, you are not trying to prove that the jury got it wrong and you should have won the trial; instead, you are typically trying to convince the appellate court that the judge made a legal ruling that was wrong, and that the judge’s mistake was serious enough to require a new trial (insufficient evidence, errors in admitting or refusing to admit evidence, incorrect jury instructions, errors in jury selection).

Appellate practice is a truly academic practice, but it an art as much as it is a science. There is a method to reviewing the trial transcript, selecting the best appellate issues, and writing a winning legal brief. Our lawyers have extensive experience with state and federal appellate practice; contact us if you want to discuss your case, and we will be happy to talk through the issues and give you an idea of what your appeal may look like.

Criminal Appeals

If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime, it is imperative that you call a lawyer as quickly as possible to begin working on your appeal.  There are crucial deadlines that begin to run immediately upon conviction.

Criminal appeals are tricky, and they are likely your last hope to challenge an unjust conviction. Our lawyers have many years of experience handling a broad range of criminal appellate matters.  We represent clients who have been convicted of any and all criminal offenses, including the following:

  • DUI
  • Reckless Driving
  • Drug Possession
  • Drug Distribution
  • Drug Sale
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Misdemeanor Assault
  • Misdemeanor Battery
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Kidnapping
  • Sex Offenses
  • Murder

What if I entered a guilty plea?

If you entered a guilty plea, there are still some options for you. The best option is very time sensitive, so call us immediately if you want to withdraw a plea. But even if you have waited, there still may be a way to withdraw your plea – if, for example, you were unaware of the ramifications of the guilty plea.

What if my lawyer didn’t do enough? What if my lawyer didn’t call my witnesses, or didn’t fight hard enough at trial?

On a criminal appeal, there is an avenue for reversal if you can establish that your lawyer was “ineffective.” “Ineffective assistance of counsel” means that your lawyer made a mistake – failed to call a witness who should have been called, failed to make an objection, failed to properly investigate the case – and that mistake was bad enough that it cast the outcome of the trial in doubt. Even if you like your lawyer (and even if we like your lawyer), there is nothing wrong with having us review the transcript to see if there was a mistake that could win you a new trial. It is your liberty at stake, so you should leave no stone unturned in fighting for your freedom.

What if the judge gave me an unfair sentence?

You have some options if you were given an unfair sentence. There could be a legal reason that the judge gave you a sentence he wasn’t allowed to – if the sentence exceeded the sentencing range, if the judge failed to merge different counts, if the judge treated you as a recidivist when he or she should not have, or if there were errors in the sentencing phase of the trial. Or, the sentence could have been legal, but you may want to ask the judge to reconsider the sentence in light of some new evidence that wasn’t presented at the original sentencing. Our attorneys have successfully litigated both matters – legal sentencing errors and motions to modify the sentence.

For further details please contact us directly by phone or e-mail.

Other Practice Areas

Get In Touch


315 W. Ponce De Leon Avenue
Suite 775
Decatur, GA 30030

Tel: 404-665-9601
Email: info@eshmanbegnaud.com