Q:

On appeal I would like to reassert arguments first made in a motion to dismiss that was denied. After final judgment, my timely appeal concerns the judgment in the overall case, but I did not appeal the decision on the motion to dismiss. Under these circumstances, can my appeal brief incorporate the arguments made in the motion to dismiss, especially if these arguments pertain to the entire case, such as whether the court ever acquired jurisdiction for the case?

 

A:

When you appeal a Court’s decision, you must isolate specific issues and identify why there was an error of fact or law.  Remember that you file one brief and all of your issues must be within that document.  While every piece of the trial or hearing is in the Court’s “record,” the brief will target the specific items about which you want to argue and flesh out those various arguments.  It is at that time that you must raise every issue that you see for appeal (including any motions, etc. brought pre-trial) or you are precluded from arguing the issue later if you are granted oral argument.  Also, keep in mind that some issues cannot be raised “for the first time” on appeal and instead, must be addressed first with the trial court before the right to appeal is available (ie via a motion for new trial).