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Making an Appeal: Unhappy with a Court Decision

October 29, 2015 Hastings and Hastings

Not everyone is going to be happy all of the time. Further, no one is going to be correct 100 percent of the time. Our American court system is designed to dispense justice as accurately as possible; however, it may not always get things right. If a party believes a rendered decision is inaccurate, it has the ability to appeal that decision.

What is an Appeal?

In the world of law, an appeal is a formal request that the court reassess a decision it has made. Appeals can have two purposes: one is to try and correct an error that was made when rendering a decision while the other is to attempt to clarify or reinterpreted a reading of the law. It is not uncommon for appeals to be made and the United States of America has an entire court system dedicated to the processing and ruling of appeals.

What is the Appeal Procedure?

Typically, an appeal cannot be made until a verdict has been reached. Once a verdict has been reached, either the defendant or the plaintiff will be granted victory. The losing party will be given the chance to be granted an appeal. There will always be a time limit set on this process. After an allotted time has passed, appeals will no longer be granted.

The Court of Appeals

Unlike standard courts, appellate courts are not afforded the opportunity to do fact-finding. Rather, appellate courts must draw on the information that was gathered during the initial trial. The court can review these facts and look at them from new angles, but it does not consider any new evidence. Appeals are usually brought in front of a judge or a panel of judges, rather than jury. Typically, each party will have the opportunity to address the judge and deliver their views and opinions verbally.