Massachusetts Appeals Court
Interlocutory Appeal • Final Judgment Appeal
The Massachusetts Appeals Court is housed in the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.
It is the intermediate appellate court of the Commonwealth where most appeals from the trial court are entered and ultimately resolved. The Mass. Appeals Court also hears appeals from three state agencies, the Appellate Tax Board, the Department of Industrial Accidents, and the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board.
Single Justice Matters
Each month one justice sits as single justice for the Mass. Appeals Court to review:
- Interlocutory appeals;
- Summary process appeal bonds;
- Denial of indigence status, costs or fees;
- Jurisdictional amount dismissals;
- Certain attorney fee awards;
- Stays of civil proceedings or criminal sentences pending appeal;
- Impoundment orders;
- Leave to file a late notice of appeal or to docket an appeal late; and,
- Motions filed during the litigation of final judgment appeals.
The remaining 24 justices are divided into three justice panels to hear and resolve the appeal of final judgments. The assignment of each justice changes from month to month so that each may rotate through as single justice and to allow each the opportunity to sit with every other justice. The Mass. Appeals Court holds panel sessions during the months of September through June.
The MA Appeals Court is the venue for an appeal of final decisions of the:
- Superior Court
- Probate and Family Court
- Land Court
- Housing Court
- Juvenile Court
- The Appellate Tax Board
- Employment Relations Board
- Department of Industrial Accidents
- The Appellate Division of the District Court
- The Appellate Division of the Boston Municipal Court
- Appeals from orders of a single justice of the Appellate Division of the District Court or Boston Municipal Court
- Cases from any court involving 209A restraining orders
- Cases from any court involving 258E harassment orders
- Judgments of any court involving contempt
- Certain Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 139, § 19 landlord-tenant proceedings
- All zoning cases
- Cases originating in the Department of Employment and Training.
Litigation in the MA Appeals Court differs significantly from that of the trial court. Most of the work is performed behind the scenes, performing legal research, analysis, and writing. The little court time required is severely limited in time and scope. Attorney William Driscoll is an appeals lawyer conversant in the rules and procedures unique to the Appeals Court. He is skilled in appellate level legal research, analysis, writing, and oral argument. As an appeals lawyer, he is able to commit large blocks of time to perform each function properly. For more information, read Ten Reasons to Hire an Appeals Lawyer.
The decision to appeal requires legal analysis and appellate level research. The standards of appellate review in the Appeals Court are determined by the issues presented on appeal. The work of an appeals attorney is very specialized in that very few trial attorneys can dedicate the time and commit to the exacting standards required of appellate level writing and oral argument, to answer the questions posed by the appellate court directly and with the proper law to back up each point made. As an appeals lawyer, Bill represents clients throughout the state and beyond who wish to bring or defend an appeal in the Appeals Court.