Thank you for the clarification.
You typically have 30 days when the decision is handed down to file for an appeal and from there you have approximately one year for there to be a hearing on the appeal. This appeal would be in regards XXXXX XXXXX latest hearing you had; the one involving the settlement conference. However, the problem I see here is how you would go about convincing the appellate
court that you did not wish to settle but set the matter for trial, since you signed the settlement agreement
. Additionally, appeals only involve the review of the lower court's decision; to see if the lower court misused or misapplied the application of law when it rendered it's decision. The appeal will not change it's ruling unless
it found the court erred in its application of law before it decides to remand (send back) the case to the lower court.
So to appeal you need to determine:
1) If you are still within time to appeal the last court decision?
2) How would you convince the court to appeal for a rehearing?
3) Did the court commit any error in handing down your SC order?
I think what you might be able to do is start all over by petitioning the court for modification of the settlement agreement. But first read the settlement documents to see if you have the right to seek court intervention. If your request for modification of the settlement agreement (SA) is granted, this will reopen the issue and then you can attempt to resettle or set the matter for trial.
Based on the facts as you have stated them, the appeal appears to be timed barred and its application is irrelevant as appeals
only review for court error. Your best bet is to petition the court again for modification of your current settlement agreement.
As you know every attorney has the fiduciary obligation to provide competent and zealous representation
of his client's interest and if you feel that she did not act competently in your representation you can again file a complaint with the disciplinary committee. Infact, you can then use the findings of the disciplinary committee and sue for malpractice.
Lastly to make sure I cover your questions, if your appeal was dismissed, you can no longer appeal again. However, if your appeal was dismissed without prejudice
then you will be able to appeal. If you wish to attempt a subsequent appeal, I suggest you consult with appellate attorney who have experience with these types of appeals, do not consult with family law attorneys (if you wish to appeal) that don't engage in such a practice.
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