Basic facts about the U.S. Court of Appeals

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal District offers a Frequently Asked Questions page with some very basic information about accessing cases and seeking information from the court. The FAQ is not really designed to provide viable information to non-legal professionals, though there are some good points of information on the page.

The FAQ page does have some contact information, including phone numbers, for those seeking assistance with filing an appeal. Note that the court is not going to provide legal advice or walk a layman completely through the appeals process, though, which is why it's a good idea to start with an appeals attorney. The court will provide specific information about forms or rules, or point someone in the direction of that information.

Some individuals might seek information on opinions issued by the court for personal research purposes. Information in published by the court via a system called PACER, which is restricted to account holders. Attorneys who deal with federal appeals cases will likely have such an account for research purposes.

Other information you can access from the FAQ page includes a history of the federal court systems, information about federal judges, addresses and hours of courts and links to other appeals courts. While it can be helpful to visit the court website so you know a little bit about what you are dealing with, you are unlikely to find the information needed to file a successful federal appeal online. By working with an attorney, you can reduce the stress of the situation while gaining access to information about your appeal in a format that you can understand.

Source: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, "FAQs," accessed April 22, 2016

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