Appellate Practice

Appeals before state and federal courts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts

Welts, White & Fontaine attorneys have decades of experience handling appeals before the New Hampshire Supreme Court, Massachusetts appeals courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. If you need a lawyer for your appeal in New Hampshire or Massachusetts, please contact the firm for more information.

New Hampshire’s only appeals court, the New Hampshire Supreme Court, hears appeals from the various circuit courts (family, district, and probate divisions) and the superior court.

Most trial court decisions may be appealed to the Supreme Court as a matter of right—that is, the Supreme Court must accept them for review. Other trial court decisions are “discretionary,” and the appealing party must petition the court to accept the case.

Proceedings before the N.H. Supreme Court and other appellate courts are very different than trial court proceedings. As a rule, only issues of law are up for discussion before the Supreme Court—not issues of fact. That means determinations of fact made by the trial court or jury are not reviewable, no matter how much a party disagrees with them. For other issues, such as evidentiary rulings, a certain amount of deference is granted to the trial judge’s decisions, making them difficult to overturn.

Appeals involve intensive legal research and writing. They often also involve oral argument before the Court. Whether you are the appealing party, defending an appeal, or amicus curiae, Welts, White & Fontaine has the experience and expertise to help.