The Appeals Process

After that, if a person still isnít satisfied with the verdict, a case would go to the U.S. Supreme Court which has the final say or judgment.

3

If a person who loses a case in a trial court wants to appeal a judgment, he or she can take the case to a court with appellate jurisdiction for judicial review. In the federal court system, the U.S. Court of Appeals is the first court of appellate jurisdiction.

There are no jury trials in appellate courts. Rather, they are courts of review which determine whether or not the rulings and judgment of the lower court are correct. The party who brings the suit to the reviewing court is referred to as the petitioner or appellant. The petitioner argues that the lower court erred in its judgment and seeks a reversal of the lower courtís decision. The party who won at the lower court must now argue against the setting aside of the judgment. This party, the respondent or appellee, wants the appellate court to affirm or agree with the lower courtís decision.

2

A case begins in a trial or district court. It is here where witnesses testify, lawyers ask questions, and judges or juries make decisions or judgments. A trial court is said to have original jurisdiction because it hears a case for the first time.

1