The Appellate Section of the District Attorney's Office handles many different aspects of the legal field. For the most part the section is involved in appeals filed by the defendant after a conviction. The section prepares and files documents with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, Louisiana Supreme Court, Federal Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Listed below are some of the most common things that the Section works on:
Appeals are usually filed by the defendant after a judgment or conviction is rendered by the trial court or jury. Appeals are filed with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal or with the Louisiana Supreme Court. The section reviews the appeal and the entire record of the trial court proceedings before preparing an answer to the defendant's brief, which is then filed at the appropriate appellate court.
Supervisory writs of review or "writs" can be thought of as mini-appeals. Writs are filed when a decision is made during pre-trial hearings or during the trial itself that either the defendant or the prosecution feels is unfair or contrary to the law. Because of the nature of a writ the section usually has a very short time in which to prepare a writ or opposition to it and file it at the appellate court. Writs which are denied by the Third Circuit Court of Appeal may then be filed at the Louisiana Supreme Court, where a final decision is made on the issue.
On a daily basis the Appellate Section is responsible for researching legal issues and numerous topics.