If you are not satisfied with your verdict or wish to preserve your judgment, speak with an Appeals Attorney.
A party to a legal proceeding who is not satisfied with the result might be able to challenge a decision in an appellate court. The typical grounds to appeal could include errors of law, procedure, or fact. Appeals are not limited to court proceedings but are available, under limited circumstances, for decisions of administrative agencies, and boards of city and county governments.
The appellate court will defer to the lower court’s findings of fact unless clearly erroneous. In other words, if there is competent, substantial evidence to support a determination of fact, that fact will be binding on the parties. Whether a trial by judge or jury, the deference provided by the appeal court allows the fact finder to determine the weight given to the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses.
Legal errors submitted to an appeals court include, whether the lower court misapplied the law to the facts when making its conclusion; whether there was a misinterpretation of the law in determining whether a party met their obligations to prove the necessary elements to establish a claim or defense; whether the proper remedy was provided to the prevailing party; and whether, in the event of a jury trial, the jury was properly instructed.
The standard of review for legal error is either de novo or abuse of discretion. De novo review is authority to review the matter as if the case was initiated before the court of appeal without deference to the trial court. For example, an interpretation of a statute or case law by a trial judge is reviewed de novo. Abuse of discretion review exists for those legal issues where the law gives the trial court discretion on rulings. For example, on the issue of whether a jury verdict was excessive, a trial judge has discretion on making the determination, and if the judge agrees, he or she has discretion on proposing a remedy to the parties.
A right to appeal is one that is guaranteed by statute, or constitutional or legal principle. An appeal by leave or permission requires the appellant to seek the appeal court’s jurisdiction by a petition requesting the court to exercise its discretion to accept review. There are strict time limitations on the filing of any appeal. A party considering an appeal should contact an attorney, who is familiar with the appellate process, promptly after the court decision.
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