Massachusetts Appellate Attorney Resources

Massachusetts State Court Appeals

Appeals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are usually heard by the Massachusetts Appeals Court. The Massachusetts Appeals Court is a court of general jurisdiction receiving appeals from all the Trial Court departments and from final decisions of the administrative Appellate Tax Board and the Labor Relations Commission. Some civil cases in Massachusetts must first be appealed to the Appellate Division of the District Court before they can be appealed to the Massachusetts Appeals Court. The Massachusetts Appeals Court hears all types of civil and criminal cases; however, first degree murder appeals are appealed directly to the Supreme Judicial Court.


The Supreme Judicial Court, also called the SJC, is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court. If a party is seeking further appellate review of a decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, they can request review by the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). The Supreme Judicial Court also may, in limited circumstances, hear an appeal on direct appellate review, In that instance, the appeal goes directly to the Supreme Judicial Court and bypasses the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

For additional information regarding appeals in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the following are valuable resources for appellate attorneys:


Massachusetts Appeals Court - About the Court

Massachusetts Appeals Court - Case Information

Massachusetts Appeals Court - Justices

Massachusetts Appeals Court - Rules and Orders

Massachusetts Appeals Court - Rules of Appellate Procedure

Supreme Judicial Court - About the Court

Supreme Judicial Court - Case Information

Supreme Judicial Court - Justices

Supreme Judicial Court - Rules and Orders

Massachusetts Sentencing Guidelines

Massachusetts Guide to Evidence

Recent Notable Decisions of the Massachusetts Appellate Courts


Massachusetts Federal Appeals

Massachusetts federal cases are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The First Circuit hears appeals stemming from the following federal courts: District of Maine, District of Massachusetts, District of New Hampshire, District of Rhode Island and District of Puerto Rico.


First Circuit Rulebook

Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and First Circuit Local Rules

First Circuit Internal Operating Procedure