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Appellate jurisdiction is the power of an
appellate court An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the Eng ...
to review, amend and overrule decisions of a
trial court A trial court or court of first instance is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the adminis ...
or other lower
tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title. For example, an advocate who appears before a court with a singl ...

tribunal
. Most appellate jurisdiction is legislatively created, and may consist of appeals by leave of the appellate court or by right. Depending on the type of case and the decision below, appellate review primarily consists of: an entirely new hearing (a non ''
trial de novo In law, the expression ''trial de novo'' means a "new trial" by a different tribunal (''de novo'' is a Latin expression meaning "afresh", "anew", "beginning again", hence the literal meaning "new trial"). A ''trial de novo'' is usually ordered b ...
''); a hearing where the appellate court gives deference to factual findings of the lower court; or review of particular legal rulings made by the lower court (an appeal on the record).


The courts of the United States

Under
Article Three of the United States Constitution Article Three of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a poli ...
, the judicial power of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
is vested in the
Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

Supreme Court of the United States
and the inferior courts established by law. The
Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure#REDIRECT Federal Rules of Appellate ProcedureThe Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (officially abbreviated Fed. R. App. P.; colloquially FRAP) are a set of rules, promulgated by the Supreme Court of the United States on recommendation of an advis ...
govern appellate proceedings.Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure


Standard of review

Under its standard of review, an appellate court decides the extent of the deference it would give to the lower court's decision, based on whether the appeal was one of fact or one of law. In reviewing an issue of fact, an appellate court ordinarily gives deference to the trial court's findings. It is the duty of trial judges or
juries A jury is a sworn body of people (the jurors) convened to render an impartial verdict In law, a verdict is the formal finding of fact made by a jury on matters or questions submitted to the jury by a judge. In a bench trial, the judge's d ...

juries
to find facts, view the evidence firsthand, and observe witness testimony. When reviewing lower decisions on an issue of fact, courts of appeal generally look for ''clear error''. The appellate court reviews issues of law ''de novo'' (anew, no deference) and may reverse or modify the lower court's decision if the appellate court believes the lower court misapplied the facts or the law. An appellate court may also review the lower judge's discretionary decisions, such as whether the judge properly granted a new trial or disallowed evidence. The lower court's decision is only changed in cases of an "abuse of discretion". This standard tends to be even more deferential than the "clear error" standard. Before hearing any case, the Court must have jurisdiction to consider the appeal.


See also

*
Original jurisdiction In common law legal systems original jurisdiction of a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state Sta ...
*
Court of last resort The supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of ...
*
Court of first instance A trial court or court of first instance is a court having original jurisdiction, in which trials take place. A trial court of general jurisdiction is authorized to hear some type of Civil law (common law), civil or Criminal law, criminal case t ...
*
Judicial review Judicial review is a process under which executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, ...
*
Exclusive jurisdiction In civil procedure Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits (as opposed to procedures in criminal law matters). These rules govern how a lawsuit or case may be ...
* Concurrent jurisdiction *
Appellate In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by ...
**
Appellate procedure in the United States United States appellate procedure involves the rules and regulations for filing appeals in state court (United States), state courts and United States federal courts, federal courts. The nature of an appeal can vary greatly depending on the typ ...


Notes


References

*United States Constitution, Article III (1783).

{{UnitedStatesCode, 28, 1291:53 :The courts of appeals (other than the
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit; in case citation Case citation is a system used by legal professionals to identify past court case decisions, either in series of books called reporters or law repo ...
) can have jurisdiction of appeals from all last 5 of the courts of the
United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States of America
, the
District Court of Guam The District Court of Guam (in case citations, D. Guam) is a United States territorial court with jurisdiction over the United States territory In the United States, a territory is any extent of region under the sovereign Sovereign is a title whi ...
, and the
District Court of the Virgin Islands The District Court of the Virgin Islands (in case citation Case citation is a system used by legal professionals to identify past court case A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be resolved by a ...
, except where a direct review may be had in the Supreme Courts. The jurisdiction of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit shall be limited to the jurisdiction described in sections 1292 (c) and (d) and 1295 of this title.
U.S. Courts website
Mandatory appellate jurisdictions must hear all properly filed appeals. Discretionary appellate jurisdictions may pick and choose which cases are to be reviewed again and again. Appellate review Jurisdiction