An appeal does not represent a retrial of the same case or a new trial of a new case. An appeals court does not consider new evidence and witnesses. Filing an appeal in a civil case such as one involving construction law is based on arguments presented that the judge overseeing the civil trial made one or more errors in regards to procedural law and/or interpretation of the law.
The reason why a party files an appeal is called one of the grounds of appeal. Grounds of appeal do not involve rehashing a previous case, but instead, a panel of appellate judges decides whether to take one of three actions to address an appeal filed by an appellate attorney.
The ground for appealing a civil case differs between the states, as well as between a state civil case and a federal civil case. The party appealing a civil trial decision is referred to as the appellant, while the other party is called the appellee. Sometimes, a judge refers to an appellant as the petitioner and the appellee as the respondent.
The appellant attorney files a notice of appeal, which initiates the period in which the appellant must file a brief with the court of appeals. A notice of appeal includes the appellant’s view of the facts, as well as the legal arguments presented by the appellant attorney. The court of appeals grants the respondent a certain amount of time to answer the issues brought up in the brief. The appellant lawyer has the right to file a second brief that responds to the appellee’s brief.
If the court of appeals confirms the judgment issued by the judge overseeing the original trial, then the case ends and the appellant has the right to appeal to a higher court. The lower court decision also is confirmed if the court of appeals dismisses an appeal. If the court of appeals reverses the decision issued by the lower court, three possible outcomes are possible depending on the actions of the judge who handled the original trial.
First, the court of appeals can order a new trial to be held. Second, the court of appeals can change the judgment rendered by the judge who heard the original case. Third, the court of appeals can order the trial court to reconsider the facts of the case, such as additional evidence submitted by the appellant attorney.