You Get One Bite at the Legal Apple

There’s an old expression that says “You get one bite at the apple.” That’s true for the most part when it comes to civil litigation. Some people think that if they go to trial and lose that they can simply appeal the lower court’s decision to the next highest court.

Technically, that’s true. But in reality, most appeals are not successful. That doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try to reverse the lower court’s decision, either by a Motion for Reconsideration, Request for a New Trial, or an Appeal, if the lower court made a mistake. But those additional steps cost more money. In fact, one may even end up paying for the opposing party’s legal fees if such Motions are unsuccessful. Therefore, when you go to trial it’s important to consider the “one bite at the apple” theory. To give yourself the best chance of winning, make sure your attorney has all of the facts and information he needs to present your case. Then when you are successful, you can say – “How do you like them apples?”

First – Talk with Your Attorney

A few years ago a young man came to me because he had been in an automobile accident. The airbag in his van didn’t deploy, and as a result he sustained minor facial injuries. He wanted to bring legal action against the dealership that sold him the van. However, before he came to see me, he returned the van back to the dealership. In other words, the key piece of evidence, the airbag, was in the hands of the very people he wanted to sue. Not a good idea. No matter how nice or reasonable the opposing party is never give them your evidence until you first talk with your attorney.