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Frequently Asked Questions

Most Asked Questions Regarding Appellate Law

How does the criminal appeals process work in Michigan?

For a criminal case, a claim of appeal must be filed within 42 days after the entry of the judgement or order (generally the date of sentencing) from which the appeal is made. In criminal cases, the transcripts for the case mest be ordered from the court reporter. For most criminal casses, the time limit is 91 days from the date the reporter received the order. The transcript will be filed with the trial court and the Michigan Court of Appeals. The time limit to file a legal brief in support of the appeal will be 56 days from when the transcript was filed in the trail court. After the appellant's bried is filed. the appellee (the prosecutor) may choose to file a brief and must file it within 35 days. If an appellee brief is filed, a reply brief may be file within 21 days. After the briefing is done, several months will pass before the case is scheduled for oral argument. Most Michigan Court of Appeals opinions are issued within a few wekks after oral argument or submission.

Can any criminal conviction be appealed, or are there specific criteria?

The main factor for whether a criminal conviction can be appealed is if a conviction was the result of a jury or bench trial. If a person is convicted at trial, they have an appeal of right. If a person accepts a plea offer to resolve a case, an application for leave to appeal (seeking permission to file an appeal) must be filed instead.

Who is the chief judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals?

Elizabeth L. Gleicher was appointed to the Court in 2007 and her term expires January 1, 2025. She was in private practice for 27 years, first as an attorney with Goodman, Eden, Millender & Bedrosian in Detroit and then started her own practice in 1994.

What are the districts for the Court of Appeals in Michigan?


Cadillac Place

3020 West Grand Boulevard, Suite 14-300

Detroit, MI 48202-6020



Columbia Center

201 West Big Beaver Rd., Suite 800

Troy, MI 48084-4127



State of Michigan Building

350 Ottawa Avenue N.W.

Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2349



Hall of Justice

925 W. Ottawa St., P.O. Box 30022

Lansing, MI 48909-7522


How do I contact the Michigan Court of Appeals?

General inquiries may be directed to the Clerks Office by phone at 517-373-0786 or by email to We recommend that inquiries concerning specific cases be directed to the district office in which the case file is located if that location is known.

How does the Michigan Court of Appeals work?

An appeal is a way to ask the Michigan Court of Appeals to correct an error that was made by a Michigan Circuit Court. When seeking an appeal, you must be familiar with the time limitations set forth in the Michigan Court Rules governing cases brought before the Michigan Court of Appeals. Those limitations are strictly enforced by the Court. A late filing will be rejected. A rejection denies the appellant the relief to which they may have been entitled. The appeal process is generally started by filing a claim of appeal or an application for leave to appeal, depending on the type of appeal being filed. 

Who is the judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals?

The Chief Judge is Elizabeth L. Gleicher was appointed to the Court in 2007 and her term expires January 1, 2025. She was in private practice for 27 years, first as an attorney with Goodman, Eden, Millender & Bedrosian in Detroit and then started her own practice in 1994.

How many judges are on the Michigan Court of Appeals?

There are 25 judges who serve on the Court who are elected from four separate geographical locations. The Court’s current judges sit in panels of three to decide cases and rotate statewide among panels. The judges also rotate among the three courtroom locations (Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids). A decision of any panel of judges is controlling statewide and is reviewable by the Michigan Supreme Court by leave application.

How long do criminal appeals take in Michigan?

Approximately 85% of all criminal appeals are concluded within 18 months of the filing date.

What factors can influence the success of a criminal appeal?

There are many factors that can be important to the success of an appeal. Here are a couple of examples: The improper admission or exclusion of critical evidence at a trial is an important factor for a successful criminal appeal. Evidence can be either physical (such as a firearm, DNA, videos, etc.) or testimony from a witness. Another factor is if the jury was possibly tainted. An example would be if a juror researched the case on their own and learned about information that was not introduced as evidence. Another example being if a juror failed to disclose information that would affect their ability to be unbiased.

How much experience do you have in handling criminal appeals cases?

Mark has approximately 20 years of experience handling criminal appeals.

What types of criminal cases have you successfully appealed in the past?

Mark has successfully overturned a wide range of criminal convictions, a few examples include criminal sexual conduct, murder, arson, and failure to register as a sex offender.

How do you communicate with clients throughout the appeals process?

This depends on each individual client’s preferences. We can communicate in person, by phone, video, text message, email and, for our clients who are incarcerated in the Michigan Department of Corrections, JPay.

Are there alternatives to traditional appeals, such as post-conviction relief?

Yes, if you have exhausted the traditional appeals process, a 6500 motion, which is a post-conviction motion for relief from judgment, is still available. A 6500 motion allows you to address issues, including new evidence, not raised during a trial or the appeal of right process. Please note that you may only have one opportunity to file a 6500 motion, so it is imperative that it be done correctly the first time. Your new evidence must be solid and supported. New evidence can be in the form of new physical evidence or witness testimony presented to the court in the form of an affidavit.

What legal resources are available for individuals involved in the criminal appeals

process in Michigan?

How do you determine if a case has solid grounds for appeal?

To begin, we start by talking with the client to find out their perspective about the reason for the criminal conviction. The client can offer insight beyond a review of the file itself, including witnesses or evidence that was not presented for their defense. The trial transcript is an extremely important resource for determining the merits of an appeal. We perform a comprehensive review of each client’s case to determine every avenue available for a potential appeal.

What role does the client play in the appeals process, and how involved will I be in


The client plays a critical role in the appeals process since they tend to know their case better than anyone else. The client will be provided updates on the appeal and will be provided drafts of the appeal for their review and feedback. Ultimately, we strive to make sure the client is intimately involved in the appeals process.

What is the cost structure for legal services related to criminal appeals?

The client will be quoted an initial retainer fee for their appeal. The quoted retainer fee will depend on the complexity and amount of time their particular appeal will require.

Are there payment plans or financing options available for legal representation?

Yes, we offer payment plans. A payment plan would require at least half of the quoted initial retainer fee to be paid upfront along with the necessary costs. The balance of the retainer fee can be paid over a period of time by an agreed upon monthly payment amount.

Can you provide references or testimonials from clients who have gone through the

criminal appeals process with your firm?

Absolutely! However, we respect also our clients’ privacy and would never disclose any information about a case without their permission.

How do you stay updated on changes in Michigan's legal landscape and their

potential impact on criminal appeals?

We subscribe to legal services that provide constant updates to Michigan law as well as important new decisions issued by the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court.

How much is this going to cost?

Initial retainer fees can range anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. The client will also be responsible for the filing fees (usually $375) as well as the cost of any necessary transcripts.

Do you accept credit cards or any other electronic forms of payment?

Yes, we accept debit and credit cards. We also accept CashApp and Venmo.

What other resources do you have that can help a potential client?

We have a large gathering of resources that can help a potential client know that they are making the right decision by contacting us.

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