Amber Heard Files an Appeal—What Does that Actually Mean?

by | Dec 7, 2022 | Celebrity News, Current Events

Hi, I’d like to Exchange on This Verdict, Please

It’s a common misconception that parties are able to just appeal the verdict any time they get a verdict that they’re not completely satisfied with. Found guilty of shoplifting? File an appeal! You don’t think you’re liable? Appeal it then! Unfortunately, a lot of crime shows may have distorted the way we think about appeals. It may be a bad idea to file an appeal just because you don’t like the verdict and want to roll the dice again at a new trial. This is because an appeal doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to another trial, and lastly, just because you file an appeal doesn’t mean that it’ll be granted. The appeals process is to remedy judicial or procedural mistakes, not because somebody doesn’t like the verdict

What Does an Appeal Mean?

Basically, Amber Heard has asked to speak with a manager. And the manager is the appellate court. A good attorney will file an appeal when they believe that there was something wrong with a decision the judge made during the trial that resulted in an unfair trial. If the appeal is granted, the appellate court will review the decision, and then reach a verdict.

For example, let’s say you’re found to be liable in a personal injury case. But, it turns out the judge was on LSD when they instructed the jury prior to the verdict. That’s probably grounds for an appeal. If the aforementioned were to happen, another court would review the decisions the judge made, and either uphold the jury’s verdict, reverse the decision, or what’s called “remand” the case back to the trial court with instructions on what they need to do to fix the mistake (which may or may not end up in a different verdict). Most attorneys don’t waste time with an appeal if there aren’t any grounds for one. But, if you’ve got enough money, you can afford to pay an attorney that will find something to allege. The key word is allege. For example, one of the things Amber Heard’s attorneys allege is that she should have an appeal because they believe the case shouldn’t have been allowed to be filed in the first place. The aforementioned is one of the arguments Heard’s legal team is making. However, just because they make the argument doesn’t mean that an appellate court will agree with it. Common grounds for appeal may be juror misconduct, procedural errors, or errors in the judge’s interpretation of the law.

Is Amber Heard Entitled to an Appeal?

Any person who has been part of a trial is “entitled” to file an appeal if they believe that there was some mistake in the proceedings that affected the outcome. That doesn’t mean they’re right or that they’re “entitled” to a different decision or even a new trial. Amber Heard will only be successful in an appeal if her legal team can successfully argue that the case needs to be reviewed due to an error that occurred during the trial. Amber Heard won’t be successful in her appeal just because she filed for one, however. In fact, despite what the media would have you thinking, appeals aren’t all that common–especially when a client isn’t particularly wealthy. Judges are careful in the decisions they make and try not to make mistakes, and most times major mistakes (a mistake that is appealable) aren’t made. Another reason appeals aren’t all that common has to do with the fact that they’re not typically successful. The process of an appeal is very difficult, complicated, and time consuming and usually done by attorneys who specialize in appeals. Even if someone thinks there are grounds for an appeal, they aren’t always affordable.

What if She Gets the Appeal?

Amber Heard filed an appeal, so the appellate court will hear her case, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily go the way she wants it to. The Appellate court will either uphold the verdict, reverse the judgment, or remand the case back to the lower court. But the judgment would only be reversed or remanded if the appellate court reviewed the judge’s decision and it turned out that they found something they believe caused the trial to be unfair. If the judgment is remanded, there may be another trial. However, it’s entirely possible that she will still be found guilty of defamation even in the event that the appellate court remands the judgment. The appellate court could also reverse the judgment in a dispositive manner, meaning that the appellate court does not agree with the judge’s decision and issues a different decision finalizing (or “disposing of”) the case. Meaning, Amber Heard could potentially be found by the appeals court not to have defamed Depp. But we’re a long way away from this. First, an appeal is filed with the Appellate Court. Then the Appellate Court will review the decisions made by the judge and the evidence presented at trial, either upholding the verdict, remanding the case back to the lower court, or reversing the judgment. If the case is remanded, there may be another trial.

My Prediction

The prosecution is alleging a lot. Though anything is possible, I think it may be a bit of a long shot for Amber Heard to benefit from the appeals process.