The Appellate Unit consists of a Chief Counsel, several assistant prosecuting attorneys and support staff. Defendants convicted in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas enjoy an appeal of right to the Tenth District Court of Appeals, and when the conviction is affirmed in that court, the defendant often pursues a discretionary appeal in the Ohio Supreme Court and sometimes seeks review in the United States Supreme Court.
The Appellate Unit's chief role is to represent the State of Ohio in those appellate cases and to seek affirmation of those convictions. Representation in such appeals includes the filing of written briefs and/or memoranda and often includes the presentation of oral arguments to the appellate courts. The Appellate Unit seeks affirmation of the conviction to the fullest proper extent of the law but concedes error and the need for appellate reversal when appropriate.
In addition to representing the State of Ohio on appeal, the Appellate Unit represents the State of Ohio in opposing post-conviction and post-appeal challenges filed by the defendant in the common pleas and appellate courts. The State of Ohio can appeal in certain circumstances when reversible error prejudicial to the prosecution has occurred. As a result, the Appellate Unit's role includes filing appeals on behalf of the State of Ohio in the appellate courts.
The Appellate Unit also represents county officials in federal court when those officials are sued in federal habeas corpus actions.
The Appellate Unit provides legal advice, research, and training for assistant prosecuting attorneys on our trial staff so those attorneys and courts can avoid errors and thereby avoid appellate reversals.
The Appellate Unit sometimes files amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs in the Ohio Supreme Court in criminal cases arising outside Franklin County. Such briefs ask that the Court adopt a rule of law that would be favorable to prosecutions here in Franklin County and throughout the state.