A litigant often finds dissatisfaction with the result of a trial or sentencing proceeding.  But the pursuit of justice is not over.  When that happens, it is time to appeal the result.

An appeal is a highly technical challenge to the decision in the trial arena.  When you find yourself in this situation, you want an attorney who is not only fearless and tireless, but also one who is knowledgeable and thorough.

Attorneys at Rudolf Widenhouse have decades of experience representing clients before the federal and state appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of North Carolina, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.  We strive to bring innovative strategies to our clients’ causes, based upon creative thinking about the facts in each case combined with a thorough exploration of the law, to produce persuasive briefs and oral arguments.

Our appellate experience ranges from civil to criminal cases, from simple through complex litigation. Other attorneys frequently consult with us in handling all aspects of appellate litigation.


Civil cases usually involve complex factual issues as well as extraordinary legal questions. Often large sums of money are at stake where clients have suffered catastrophic injuries or sustained substantial economic losses from personal injuries or fraudulent conduct. Because these cases do not involve lengthy prison sentences, it may be difficult to convince an appellate court of the harm in the trial court’s ruling. We are committed to bringing our skills as advocates, both in quality brief-writing and persuasive oral argument, to help our clients challenge or protect the rulings in the trial court.


Perhaps no area of the law is fraught with greater emotions than domestic litigation, including equitable distribution, child custody, and divorce. In these types of cases, one or both parties often are displeased with the trial court results and want to appeal. Because these cases are usually decided by a judge rather than a jury, the ruling in the trial court gets great deference in the appellate court, making it even more difficult to obtain a reversal. Our firm is committed to bringing its full resources to help a client in challenging (or sometimes protecting) the decisions in these matters. We can provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary for success.


When a criminal defendant has been convicted and sentenced, his best chance for vindication comes with his direct appeal. An appeal involves a review of the trial and sentencing proceedings by a panel of judges on a higher court. It is a complicated process in which the assistance of a skilled appellate lawyer can make the difference between success and failure. Our firm has enjoyed remarkable success in the federal and state appellate courts, often winning our clients new trials and new sentencing hearings–the results of which are release from incarceration or much shorter prison terms. We provide the knowledge and capability to take on the opposition and often the court itself to succeed.