Once a jury hands down their verdict, the case is over, right? Sometimes, but not always. At the close of trial, both sides generally have the ability to appeal certain issues or things that may not have gone their way. Most important to remember here though: parties can only appeal legal issues, not factual ones. So an appeal should not be thought of as another opportunity to try a case. Instead, appeals are there to correct mistakes or misapplications of law. Should they determine that a new trial is warranted, appeals courts have the ability to order one. But they are strictly there to determine legal issues, not factual ones.
Framework For Appeals
Every state is different, meaning every court system is different. Since this blog covers issues pertaining to the national personal injury community, I will use the federal appeals process to lay out how things work. Granted, the federal appeals courts share some similarities with many states (especially Maryland), so this should give you an idea of how things work from state to state.
The federal court system is three-tiered. There are the trial courts, which are referred to as Federal District Courts. There are the intermediate appeals courts, which are called Federal Circuit Courts. And the “court of last resort” in the federal system is the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS). The state of Maryland has a similar system with trial courts, an intermediate appeals court, and a state court of last resort.