After a case concludes by dismissal, summary judgment, or trial, the losing party has the right to file an appeal.  Stewart Sutton has successfully represented many clients in appeals. Six of his appellate cases have resulted in reported opinions in state and federal courts: Ceresino v. Fire Insurance Exchange 215 Cal.App. 3d 814 (1989); Maynard v. Westport Insurance Corp., 208 F.Supp.2d 568 (D.Md.2002); Collins v. Li 158 Md. App. 252 (2004); Collins v. Li (II) 176 Md.App. 502 (2007); Pittway v. Collins 409 Md. 218 (2009); and Meese v. Meese 212 Md.App. 359 (2013). Most appeals do not result in a reported opinion.  Since May 2015, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals’ unreported opinions are available online.   

Mr. Sutton represented the appellants in the following unreported opinions: Salami v. Sobo, 2020 WL 3485711 and Woods v. Kerpelman, 2016 WL. 7077840 and the appellee in Katana Properties, LLC v. Brunson, 2018 WL 1040030. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals (COSA) now allows pro se appellants to file an informal brief in family law (including appeals involving custody, visitation, child support, alimony, marital property, and domestic violence) and certain other cases.  The comment to Maryland Rule 8-502(a)(9) rule states: “Informal briefing in the Court of Special Appeals is intended to provide meaningful review of issues raised by self-represented parties without requiring compliance with the technical requirements of Rules 8-501 through 8-504”.   

For a self-represented appellant, Stewart A. Sutton recommends that the informal brief be reviewed by an attorney. COSA’s guidelines provides that that if an appellant files an informal brief, an appellee may choose to file an informal brief or a formal brief. Stewart A. Sutton recently filed an informal appellee’s brief in response to an appellant’s informal brief in a family law case.  The filing of an informal brief on behalf of client saved the client a substantial amount of money, because the informal brief does not need to include a Table of Contents, Table of Authorities, or Record Extract.  In the subject case, COSA dismissed the pro se appellant’s appeal on the grounds that it was not timely filed.

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