The other side is appealing, what does that mean?

An appeal is when one of the parties requests that the decision in your case be looked reviewed by a higher court. When the other side is appealing it means there might have been a legal or procedural error for the court to change the decision. The appellate court will see whether the law was applied correctly. Read our free legal guide below to learn what happens during an appeal.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 15, 2021

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An appeal means that one of the parties is requesting that the decision in your case be looked at again by a higher court. In other words, they are arguing that something went wrong with the first decision and that it should be changed. The appellants will file the appeal.

In most cases, the appeals process is somewhat limited. You probably aren’t going to have to go to court again, and the appellate court (the one reviewing the decision) is probably going to give a lot of deference to the already-standing decision.

Now that you know what is an appeal in court, keep reading to find out what are the grounds for an appeal. If the other side is appealing in a case, contact an experienced attorney to get legal help by entering your ZIP code.

What happens in an appeal?

Generally, when a case is appealed, there must have been a legal or procedural error for the court to change the decision. In other words, the appellate court usually isn’t going to disturb decisions that have been made on the facts. Instead, they will look to see whether the law was applied correctly and whether everything was done right.

If a jury was given bad instructions, if the judge let the evidence in that he shouldn’t have, or if something else of that nature went wrong, then the case may be “overturned,” meaning the original decision will be changed, or it may be remanded, which means it will be sent back to the lower court to look at again with more explanation.

This isn’t to say that an appeals court will never look at a case with fresh eyes. When they do, it is called “de novo” review, which means that they look at everything with no eyes and don’t pay attention to what the court below did. Usually, only decisions made by judges in certain courts go through a “de novo” appeal, like decisions in small claims court.

In any case, usually, the appeals process just consists of lawyers writing briefs or “arguments” about why the higher court should or should not change what was decided. It is also important to note that either party can appeal a case. If the winning party isn’t satisfied with the amount of damages, for example, he may appeal. The only exception is a prosecutor in a criminal case, who is not allowed to appeal a verdict of not guilty.

The appeals process is legally complex. If you are involved in a case and the other side is appealing, you need to get legal help from an experienced attorney.

What are the Courts of Appeals?

Underneath the U.S. Supreme Court are thirteen appellate courts. They are the ones who examine whether the law was applied correctly during trials.

Why do you need an appeals lawyer?

An appeals attorney will take a look at a few important papers; the first one is the judgment. An appeals lawyer will help people find out if it’s a final, signed, appealable judgment. The next step in the appellate process is looking at the record of the case (the transcripts of the hearings and the documents presented to the court) in order to decide if there is an appealable issue and whether the trial judge made a mistake. If the other side is unhappy with the decision and appeals it, the appeals lawyer will write a brief on your behalf to defend the decision.

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