appellate | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Procedural Law

The term appellate is used to describe nearly anything related to an appeal, especially a court that can hear such cases.

The term appellate is an important one in the legal system, as it refers to anything related to an appeal, including the court that has the power to hear such cases. An appellate court is a court that has the authority to review the judgment of a lower court or tribunal, such as a trial court.

In the United States, the federal appellate court system is composed of 13 circuit courts of appeals and one appellate court for the federal circuit. Each circuit court has jurisdiction over a specific geographic area and is responsible for reviewing the decisions of the district courts within its jurisdiction.

When a party appeals a decision from a trial court, they are asking an appellate court to review the case and determine whether the lower court made any legal errors that affected the outcome of the case. In order to appeal a decision, the party must typically file a notice of appeal with the appellate court within a certain period of time after the lower court’s decision is rendered.

Once the appeal is filed, the appellate court will review the record of the lower court case, including transcripts of any hearings or trials, as well as any evidence or legal arguments presented by the parties. The appellate court will then issue a written opinion, which may affirm, reverse, or remand the lower court’s decision.

In addition to reviewing the decisions of lower courts, appellate courts may also have other important functions. For example, appellate courts may have the authority to interpret and clarify legal doctrines and principles, which can have a significant impact on the development of the law. Appellate courts may also have the power to issue writs of mandamus or prohibition, which can compel or prevent lower courts from taking certain actions.

In some legal systems, these courts may be divided into multiple levels, such as intermediate appellate courts and supreme courts. Intermediate courts may have the power to review the decisions of lower courts and may be the final court of appeal for certain types of cases, while supreme courts may have broader jurisdiction and may be the highest court in the legal system.

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 05/03/2023


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