"...with Jim fighting on my behalf I ultimately received justice."


"There is a deep sense of reassurance to have someone in your corner. An advocate. Someone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and fight on your behalf. Jim is that person. I was was in an auto collision over four years ago and I quickly learned how helpless one can feel dealing with an insurance company while trying to rehabilitate. After a year and half of frustration I found Jim. It was such a relief. Jim focused first on my injury, making sure I was receiving exceptional medical care and then on my case. He made a frustrating process manageable. He was a pleasure to work with and made me feel like more than a client. The case ended in court and with Jim fighting on my behalf I ultimately received justice.”


As posted by a former client on AVVO


Over 50 years of combined legal experience

Civil Appeals


A civil appeal is a challenge to a ruling or judgment from an administrative hearing or lower court. The location of the challenged ruling will determine where your appeal is heard. A superior court judge hears all appeals arising out of administrative hearings, municipal courts or district courts, while the court of appeals hears all appeals stemming from a superior court matter.


Some of the more common types of civil appeals include challenges the following:


  • Unfavorable verdicts or summary judgment rulings in personal injury, contract, or other civil matters
  • Department of Licensing revocation hearings
  • Drug forfeiture hearings
  • Protection order hearings
  • Trials and hearings involving custody disputes and parental rights


An appeal is based entirely on the record from the lower court. This means that if an issue was not raised in the trial court, you may not be able to raise it in an appeal. In some cases, however, it is possible to bring what is referred to as a “post-trial motion” to challenge a final judgment or order. Although these are limited in scope, they do provide a means of challenging final orders which have resulted in grave injustices. The procedures relating to these post-trial motions are set forth in Civil Rules 59 and 60.


There are strict time requirements for challenging the rulings of a lower court. A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the court’s final ruling, or the right to appeal will be lost. Some types of post trial motion–such as a motion for a new trial or a motion to reconsider–must be filed within 10 days of entry of a judgment or final order. Other types of post-trial motions can be filed up to a year later. An appellate attorney can explain the various options and help you decide which approach would be most successful.


As a general rule, the appellate process takes about a year to complete, although appeals relating solely to a summary judgment motion may be decided a little quicker. The appellate process has several steps:


Obtain Transcripts: Your attorney contacts the various court reporters and orders the transcripts. Typically, it takes 45 to 60 days to receive transcripts, but lengthy trials may take much longer.


Review Transcripts: Your attorney reviews the transcripts for all possible errors that can be raised on appeal.


Research and File Briefs: Your attorney researches the applicable law and prepares an opening brief based on the errors found in the transcript. Then the opposing party files a response, and your attorney has the opportunity to file a reply brief.

Court of Appeals Decides: After your attorney and the opposing party submit and reply to all the briefs, the court of appeals either schedules the case for oral argument, or sends out notice that the case is going to be decided without oral argument. All Court of Appeals’ decisions are in writing, and typically the court decision is issued about 6 to 12 weeks after arguments are heard.


Petition for Review at the Supreme Court: If you do not prevail at the court of appeals, you have 30 days to ask the Washington Supreme Court to accept review of your case. If the request for review is not filed within 30 days, the court of appeals issues a mandate, which means the appeal is over and the judgment is final.


James Dixon handles the appeals and post-trial motions for Dixon & Cannon, Ltd., and he has represented hundreds of clients before the Court of Appeals and Washington State Supreme Court.


Call for a FREE 30-minute initial consultation at 206-957-2247. We can help!

Dixon & Cannon, Ltd. is licensed to practice law in the States of Arizona and Washington. This Web site is created for your general information only and does not represent legal advice. An attorney-client relationship between you and our law firm is not created by you reading this information or calling us. If we decide to work together, we sign a contract to establish our attorney-client relationship.

Personal Injury


Dixon & Cannon, Ltd

Downtown Seattle Office

Dixon & Cannon, Ltd.

601 Union Street, Suite 3230

Seattle WA 98101