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Navigating Medical Malpractice Appeals in Hawaii

If you receive an unfavorable verdict in your medical malpractice case, you may have the option to file an appeal. Understanding the appeals process in Hawaii medical malpractice lawyer is essential for navigating this complex legal procedure. This article will explain how medical malpractice appeals work in Hawaii, including the grounds for appeal, the steps involved, and what to expect during the process.

Grounds for Appeal

An appeal is a request for a higher court to review the decision of a lower court. In medical malpractice cases, you can appeal the verdict if you believe that legal errors affected the outcome of your trial. Common grounds for appeal include:

Legal Errors

If the trial court made errors in applying or interpreting the law, these legal errors can be grounds for appeal. This includes incorrect jury instructions, improper admission or exclusion of evidence, and errors in the judge’s rulings.

Procedural Errors

Procedural errors involve mistakes in the trial process that may have affected the fairness of the proceedings. Examples include errors in jury selection, improper conduct by attorneys, and violations of procedural rules.

Insufficient Evidence

If the verdict is not supported by sufficient evidence, you may have grounds for appeal. This means that the evidence presented at trial was not enough to justify the jury’s decision.


If there was misconduct by the judge, attorneys, or jurors that affected the trial’s outcome, this can be grounds for appeal. Misconduct includes bias, prejudice, or any actions that compromised the fairness of the trial.

The Appeals Process in Hawaii

The appeals process involves several steps, each requiring careful preparation and legal expertise. Here is an overview of the key steps in a medical malpractice appeal in Hawaii:

Notice of Appeal

The first step in the appeals process is filing a Notice of Appeal. This document must be filed with the trial court within a specified timeframe after the verdict, usually within 30 days. The Notice of Appeal informs the court and the opposing party of your intention to appeal.

Appellate Briefs

Both parties will submit written briefs to the appellate court. The appellant (the party filing the appeal) submits an opening brief, outlining the legal and factual arguments for why the trial court’s decision should be reversed. The appellee (the opposing party) submits a response brief, defending the trial court’s decision. The appellant may also file a reply brief to address points raised in the response brief.

Oral Arguments

In some cases, the appellate court may schedule oral arguments, where both parties present their arguments in person. Each side has a limited amount of time to make their case and answer questions from the judges. Oral arguments provide an opportunity to clarify points made in the written briefs and address any concerns the judges may have.

Appellate Court Decision

After reviewing the briefs and hearing oral arguments (if applicable), the appellate court will issue a written decision. The court may:

  • Affirm the Verdict: The appellate court agrees with the trial court’s decision and upholds the verdict.
  • Reverse the Verdict: The appellate court disagrees with the trial court’s decision and overturns the verdict.
  • Remand the Case: The appellate court sends the case back to the trial court for further proceedings, such as a new trial or additional findings.

Further Appeals

If either party is dissatisfied with the appellate court’s decision, they may have the option to appeal to a higher court, such as the Hawaii Supreme Court or the federal courts. However, higher courts have discretion over which cases they accept, and not all appeals will be granted a hearing.

What to Expect During the Appeals Process

The appeals process can be lengthy and complex, requiring careful preparation and legal expertise. Here are some key points to keep in mind:


Appeals can take several months to years to resolve, depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule. It is important to be patient and prepared for a potentially long process.

Legal Representation

Navigating the appeals process requires specialized legal knowledge and experience. It is crucial to work with an attorney who has expertise in appellate law and a thorough understanding of medical malpractice cases.


Appeals can be expensive, involving legal fees, court costs, and other expenses. It is important to discuss the potential costs with your attorney and plan accordingly.

Limited Scope

The appellate court’s review is typically limited to the issues raised in the appeal. New evidence is generally not considered, and the court’s focus is on whether legal or procedural errors affected the trial’s outcome.


Navigating a medical malpractice appeal in Hawaii involves understanding the grounds for appeal, the steps in the appeals process, and what to expect during the proceedings. If you believe that legal errors or other issues affected the outcome of your trial, consulting with an experienced Hawaii medical malpractice lawyer is essential. They can guide you through the appeals process, prepare strong legal arguments, and advocate for your rights. While the appeals process can be challenging, it provides an opportunity to seek a fair resolution and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.

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