While most cases are settled without the need for a full blown trial, many litigants cannot reach a settlement and must allow a judge or jury to decide the outcome of their case. When this happens, a party may feel that they have been mistreated or aggrieved by a judge’s decision. In the context of a divorce or family court proceeding, a judge may decide on some very critical issues affecting a person’s life such as: custody, parental rights, child support, spousal support, and division of property. In the context of a criminal proceeding, an adverse decision or verdict can result in the loss of significant liberties and the imposition of harsh penalties such as fines, probation supervision, and/or incarceration.
Fortunately, our system of justice recognizes that both judges and juries often make mistakes which result in an outcome that is unfair, inequitable, or the result of poor lawyering. In these circumstances, all states including New York have devised a system of appellate review whereby an aggrieved litigant can request that a higher court review the fairness and propriety of a lower court ruling or judgment. In New York State, an appeal as a matter of right can be filed with one of the four branches of the Appellate Division. Under some circumstances, even a decision rendered by the Appellate Division can be reviewed by the New York State Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court.
While the right to seek appellate review offers a powerful remedy to cure an injustice committed by a lower court or jury, litigants must be mindful of the fact that the appellate process can be extremely complicated. The appellate courts have devised an intricate set of rules and procedures that must be strictly followed before the merits of a case can even be considered. These rules pertain to the timeliness of filings, the types and forms of papers to be filed, and the methods of preparing a record for the appeal. Suffice it to say, a layman should not dabble in the handling of their own as appeal as even the slightest error will foreclose any review of their case on appeal.
Mr. Kommor has proven to be an extremely formidable and experienced appellate litigator. During his law school tenure, Mr. Kommor was bestowed numerous distictions in the areas of appellate litigation. Specifcally, Mr. Kommor was awarded the American Jurisprudence award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy and the Moot Court Appellate Advocacy Award. In addition, Mr. Kommor was named as the Chairman of the Moot Court Association and granted a full tutition scholarship at his law school. Upon his graduation from law school, Mr. Kommor served as a prosecutor in the Appeals Bureau at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Over the course of the last twenty three years, Mr. Kommor has both pursued and defended a multitude of appellate matters in both the civil and criminal context. In doing so, Mr. Kommor has not only successfully authored dozens of appellate briefs but has also orally argued before the New York State Appellate Division.