Navigating Criminal Appeals: A List of Skilled Lawyers to Consider

Find the best criminal appeal lawyer in Baltimore. Learn key factors to consider and how these experts can help with your criminal appeal.


Navigating a criminal appeal can be daunting, but finding the right criminal appeal lawyer in Baltimore, MD, is essential to improving your chances of success. Whether you need a skilled appellate attorney or an experienced appeals lawyer, we’ve compiled a list of top lawyers to consider:

  • Nathans & Ripke LLP
  • Greenberg Law Offices
  • Catherine Woolley
  • Gary Almeter
  • Andrew Norman

Choosing the best lawyer for your specific needs involves considering costs, expertise, and personality. Keep reading to find detailed information on these top lawyers and essential tips for selecting the right legal representation.

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Top 5 Criminal Appeal Lawyers in Baltimore

When navigating the complex world of criminal appeals, having the right lawyer can make all the difference. Here are the top five criminal appeal lawyers in Baltimore, each with their unique strengths:

Nathans & Ripke LLP

Experience: Nathans & Ripke LLP is widely acclaimed for its success in criminal and civil appeals. With decades of experience, their team has developed an extensive body of knowledge tailored to winning appeals and vindicating clients’ rights at the appellate level.

Specialties: They excel in both state and federal trials, handling everything from direct appeals to post-conviction petitions. Their expertise includes misapplication of evidentiary rules, improper jury instructions, and prosecutor errors.

Cost: While detailed cost information isn’t provided, their extensive experience and high success rate suggest that their services might be on the higher end. However, the investment is often worth it given their track record.

Personality: The firm prides itself on its ability to fluidly move between trial and appellate courts, ensuring clients’ rights are preserved at every stage.

Greenberg Law Offices

Experience: Greenberg Law Offices has a team of seasoned attorneys recommended by Baltimore residents for their expertise in criminal appeals. Their long-standing presence in the community speaks to their reliability and effectiveness.

Specialties: They focus on criminal law, including state and federal violations, making them well-suited for complex cases that require deep legal knowledge.

Cost: Costs can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the level of expertise required. It’s advisable to consult directly with the firm for a detailed estimate.

Personality: Known for their approachable and communicative nature, the attorneys at Greenberg Law Offices ensure clients feel supported and understood throughout the legal process.

Catherine Woolley

Experience: Catherine Woolley is known for her meticulous approach to criminal appeals, bringing years of focused experience to the table.

Specialties: Her practice includes direct appeals and petitions for writ of certiorari, with a strong emphasis on correcting trial court errors.

Cost: While specific cost details are not available, her specialized expertise suggests that her services are a valuable investment for those seeking high-quality appellate representation.

Personality: Clients appreciate her thoroughness and dedication, making her a trustworthy choice for navigating the complexities of criminal appeals.

Gary Almeter

Experience: Gary Almeter has built a reputation for his skill in handling criminal appeals, with a particular focus on post-conviction victories.

Specialties: His areas of expertise include discovering exculpatory evidence and addressing insufficiency of evidence claims, crucial for overturning wrongful convictions.

Cost: Costs are likely to reflect the depth of his experience and the complexity of the case. Direct consultation is recommended for an accurate estimate.

Personality: Almeter is known for his empathetic approach, ensuring that clients feel heard and supported throughout the appeals process.

Andrew Norman

Experience: With over thirty years of experience as a federal and state prosecutor, Andrew Norman brings a wealth of knowledge to his criminal defense practice.

Specialties: His focus includes defending clients in federal court and handling various criminal matters, making him a versatile choice for complex appeals.

Cost: Given his extensive experience, his services might be priced higher, but his expertise can be invaluable for serious charges.

Personality: Norman’s background as a prosecutor provides him with a unique perspective, allowing him to anticipate and counter the prosecution’s strategies effectively.

Choosing the right criminal appeal lawyer involves considering multiple factors, including cost, specialties, and personality. Each of these top lawyers in Baltimore brings a unique set of skills and experience to the table, ensuring you have the best possible representation for your appeal.

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Keep reading to learn more about key factors to consider when choosing a criminal appeal lawyer and how they can help you navigate the appeals process.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Criminal Appeal Lawyer

When you’re selecting a criminal appeal lawyer, it’s crucial to evaluate several key factors. These elements can significantly impact your case’s outcome and your overall experience throughout the appeals process.


Cost is a major consideration. The price can vary widely depending on the lawyer’s experience and the complexity of your case. For example, seasoned lawyers who have defended numerous cases will likely charge more. However, their expertise could mean the difference between severe and lessened charges.

Tip: Don’t let cost dissuade you from hiring a lawyer. The investment in a skilled attorney can be invaluable.


Lawyers often specialize in certain areas of the law. For a criminal appeal, you’ll want someone with experience in criminal law and, ideally, in the specific laws you’re accused of breaking. It’s also essential to determine whether you need a state or federal attorney. State attorneys focus on state law violations, while federal attorneys handle more complex federal law issues.

Example: Nathans & Ripke LLP excel in both state and federal appeals, making them a versatile choice.


You’ll be working closely with your lawyer, so it’s crucial that you get along well and can communicate easily. Meeting with several attorneys can help you gauge whether you can work with them comfortably.

Quote: “Discussing your case with several attorneys can help you gauge whether you’ll be able to work with them before deciding on one.”

State vs. Federal Attorney

Understanding whether you need a state or federal attorney is crucial. State attorneys deal with violations of state laws, while federal attorneys handle cases involving federal laws. Federal cases are often more complex and may require more of a lawyer’s time and expertise.

Fact: Due to the complexity of federal law, you’ll likely need more of a federal attorney’s time to properly handle your case.

Complexity of Federal Law

Federal law is intricate and requires a deep understanding of various legal nuances. If your case involves federal charges, hiring an attorney with specific federal law experience is essential. They can navigate the complexities and ensure that your case is handled effectively.

Case Study: The attorneys at Nathans & Ripke LLP have notable successes in correcting errors made at trial through appeals, particularly in federal cases.

By considering these factors, you can make a more informed decision when choosing a criminal appeal lawyer. This will help ensure you have the best possible representation for your appeal.

Keep reading to understand how criminal appeal lawyers can assist you in navigating the appeals process.

How Criminal Appeal Lawyers Can Help You

Criminal appeal lawyers play a crucial role in challenging and overturning trial court errors. Here are some key ways they can help:

Direct Appeal

A direct appeal is the most common way to challenge a conviction. It involves asking a higher court to review the trial court’s decision for legal errors. This can include misapplication of evidentiary rules, improper jury instructions, or any other mistake that could have affected the outcome of your trial.

Example: Nathans & Ripke LLP have successfully overturned several convictions by identifying and arguing errors made during the trial.

Petition for Writ of Certiorari

If your direct appeal is unsuccessful, you can file a petition for writ of certiorari. This is a request for the Supreme Court to review your case. While it’s rare for the Supreme Court to grant these petitions, having a skilled appellate lawyer can increase your chances.

Fact: The U.S. Supreme Court grants only about 1% of certiorari petitions, making expert legal representation crucial.

Post-Conviction Victory

Post-conviction relief can come in various forms, such as a motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence or ineffective assistance of counsel. Winning a post-conviction motion can result in a new trial or even an outright dismissal of charges.

Case Study: Nathans & Ripke LLP have achieved post-conviction victories by uncovering exculpatory evidence that was not presented during the initial trial.

Coram Nobis Petition

A coram nobis petition is another post-conviction remedy available after you’ve completed your sentence. This petition asks the court to correct a fundamental error that occurred during your trial, which could have led to a wrongful conviction.

Example: Clients have successfully used coram nobis petitions to clear their names long after serving their sentences, thanks to the diligent work of their appellate attorneys.

Trial vs. Appeals

Not all trial lawyers excel in appellate courts. The skills required for appeals are different, focusing more on legal arguments and less on presenting evidence. Appellate lawyers are specialized in identifying trial errors and crafting compelling legal arguments to persuade appellate judges.

Quote: “Our comfort in both legal settings is the cornerstone of our successful appellate practice,” says Nathans & Ripke LLP.

Understanding these avenues for appeal can help you see the importance of hiring an experienced criminal appeal lawyer. They can navigate the complexities and ensure that your case is handled effectively.

Next, we’ll delve into the common grounds for criminal appeals.

Common Grounds for Criminal Appeals

When it comes to criminal appeals, understanding the common grounds can be crucial. Here are some typical reasons why a conviction might be appealed:

Misapplication of Evidentiary Rules

One of the most frequent grounds for appeal is the misapplication of evidentiary rules. This happens when the trial court incorrectly admits or excludes evidence. For example, if crucial evidence that could have exonerated the defendant was wrongly excluded, it can be a strong basis for an appeal.

Wrong Jury Instructions

Incorrect jury instructions can also lead to an appeal. If a judge provides the jury with the wrong legal standards or fails to include essential instructions, it can significantly impact the verdict. According to Nathans & Ripke LLP, one of their appellate victories involved a judge giving the wrong jury instructions, which was successfully challenged on appeal.

Discovery of Exculpatory Evidence

Sometimes, new evidence comes to light after the trial that could have changed the outcome. This is known as exculpatory evidence. If such evidence is discovered, it can form the basis for a post-conviction appeal. The discovery of Brady evidence, which is exculpatory evidence that the prosecution failed to disclose, is another common reason for appeal.

Improper Communication with Jury

Judges or attorneys improperly communicating with the jury outside the courtroom can lead to a mistrial or appeal. This kind of error can compromise the impartiality of the jury and affect their decision-making process.

Insufficiency of Evidence

An appeal can also be based on the claim that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support a conviction. If the appellate court finds that no reasonable jury could have found the defendant guilty based on the evidence presented, the conviction may be overturned.

Prosecutor Errors

Errors made by the prosecution, especially during closing arguments, can also be grounds for an appeal. For instance, if the prosecutor makes statements that are not supported by evidence or are prejudicial, it can be challenged.

Understanding these common grounds for appeals can help you see why having a skilled criminal appeal lawyer is essential. They can identify these errors and effectively argue them in appellate court.

Next, we’ll cover some frequently asked questions about criminal appeal lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Appeal Lawyers

What is the difference between a trial lawyer and an appellate lawyer?

A trial lawyer focuses on presenting your case in the initial court proceedings. They gather evidence, question witnesses, and aim to convince a judge or jury of your innocence or the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

An appellate lawyer, on the other hand, steps in after a trial has concluded. Their job is to review the trial’s record and identify legal errors that could have affected the outcome. They craft detailed legal arguments and present them to appellate courts, seeking to overturn or modify the trial court’s decision.

Example: Nathans & Ripke LLP excels in both trial and appellate stages, ensuring a seamless transition if an appeal is necessary.

How much does it cost to hire a criminal appeal lawyer?

The cost of hiring a criminal appeal lawyer can vary widely. Factors influencing the cost include:

  • Experience: Lawyers with more years of experience and a successful track record will generally charge more.
  • Case Complexity: Complex cases that require extensive research and nuanced arguments are more expensive.
  • Court Level: Appeals in federal court can be pricier than those in state court due to the complexity of federal law.

Example: At Nathans & Ripke LLP, the extensive experience and specialized knowledge of their attorneys could mean higher fees, but this investment often results in better outcomes.

What should I look for in a criminal appeal lawyer?

When choosing a criminal appeal lawyer, consider the following:

  • Specialties: Ensure the lawyer has specific experience in criminal appeals and is familiar with the laws relevant to your case.
  • Personality: You’ll be working closely with this lawyer, so it’s important to choose someone you can communicate with easily and trust.
  • Communication Skills: A lawyer who explains complex legal issues in simple terms can help you understand your case better.
  • Experience: Look for a lawyer with a proven track record in handling appeals similar to yours.

Example: Barry Gogel, with 26 years of experience, represents a wide range of clients and has a strong background in appeals, making him a solid choice for complex cases.

By considering these factors, you can find a criminal appeal lawyer who is well-suited to handle your appeal effectively.


At Brillant Law Firm, we pride ourselves on our expertise, dedication, and commitment to excellence. Navigating the complexities of criminal appeals requires a deep understanding of both trial and appellate processes. Our team of specialized lawyers is equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle your case with the utmost precision and care.

Expertise: Our firm has a proven track record of success in handling a wide range of criminal appeals. We understand the nuances of both state and federal law, ensuring that your case is in capable hands.

Dedication: We are fully committed to being available to our clients and providing the best service possible. From the initial consultation to the final appeal, we are with you every step of the way, advocating for your rights and working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome.

Commitment to Excellence: At Brillant Law Firm, we don’t just aim to meet expectations; we strive to exceed them. Our meticulous preparation and strategic approach set us apart from the rest. We believe that every client deserves top-notch representation, and we work diligently to deliver just that.

If you’re facing a criminal appeal and need a skilled lawyer to guide you through the process, look no further. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve justice.

Your future is too important to leave to chance. Trust Brillant Law Firm to fight for your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.

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