The Appeals Process- The Appellate Record

The Appellate Record

The appellate record consists of two separate parts, the common law record and the record of proceedings. The common law record contains everything that was filed in the trial court whether it was filed pre-trial, during the trial, or post-trial. These documents and exhibits consists of every motion or petition filed by either party; every order entered by the trial judge; every piece of evidence introduced at trial; and any other documents that are contained in the court file. The motion for a new trial and the notice of appeal are also part of the common law record.

The other part of the appellate record is the record of proceedings. The record of proceedings is the transcript of the oral statements made during your case. Criminal cases almost always have a court reporter that is either physically present or in a remote location. The court reporter is responsible to transcribe every word that is being spoken regarding your case by your attorney, the prosecutor, the judge, any testifying witnesses, and any statements that you make. The record of proceedings is the certified transcript that the court reporter creates based upon his or her transcription of the proceedings. The clerk of the circuit court where your trial occurred must certify and bind the common law record and the record of proceedings. Once the appellate record is certified, it or a certificate in lieu of the record must be filed with the appellate court. At this point, in the direct appeal process is where the talent of the appellate attorney matters and it cannot be underestimated how much an appellate attorney means in the difference between victory and loss.

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Oak Brook, IL 60523