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Firm Profile

Richard F. Cornell is among Nevada’s regular appellate litigators in the areas of criminal and domestic relations law. He also has successfully litigated a number of post-conviction habeas corpus writ petitions. The website on contains more details regarding specific cases.


  • Carson City and Storey, Washoe, Churchill and Lyon Counties
  • Humboldt, Pershing, Lander and Douglas Counties


  • United States Supreme Court (Writs of Certiorari)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Nevada
  • Nevada Supreme Court
  • Nevada District Courts: First, Second, Third, Sixth and Ninth
  • Justice and Municipal Courts (Appellate rights stop at District Court level)


General Information (Federal Level)

  1. Often times a meritorious appeal can be had at the federal level after an individual pleads guilty and is then sentenced. This type of appeal generally is more prevalent in federal court than in state court because of the sentencing structure as outlined in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
  2. The vast majority of criminal federal appellate law, however, is successfully practiced after the defendant is found guilty by a jury and then sentenced.
  3. Once sentenced, a Notice of Appeal is almost always filed immediately, although at the federal level, an individual has ten (10) days within which to do so.
  4. An appeal, once filed, can be dismissed later on.

General Information (State Level)

  1. The vast majority of criminal state appellate law is practiced after the defendant is found guilty by a jury and then sentenced. A defendant cannot appeal and claim his guilty plea was defective, unless he filed a motion to set the plea aside (which ultimately was denied) before he was sentenced.
  2. Once sentenced at the state level, an individual has thirty (30) days within which to file a Notice of Appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, ten (10) days within which to file to the District Court.
  3. Most appeals in the state of Nevada are litigated in the Nevada Supreme Court after entry of a criminal judgment handed down by any of the State?s district courts. In Nevada, the date of judgment is almost always on the date of the in-court sentencing.

Where to Appeal

  1. Cases heard at the Municipal or Justice Court will be appealed to the District Court.
  2. Cases heard at the District Court will be appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.
  3. U.S. District Court cases for the District of Nevada will be heard by the Ninth Circuit, located in San Francisco
  4. In all cases, the Notice of Appeal is filed in the court which rendered the original judgment or appealable order.