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Understanding some of the most common appellate words and terms

The civil appeals system may seem complicated for those who are not very familiar with legal terms. Court processes come with a multitude of terminology that you may have heard of, but might not fully understand how they relate to each other. Fortunately, at the Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd., our lawyers have a full understanding of the civil and appellate processes in Nevada. We are willing to answer your questions regarding common court terminology and phrasing so you never go into a courtroom feeling unprepared.

The following terms are some of those frequently used in appeals courts, as defined by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts:

  • Appeal – This is a review process of the trial court’s proceedings by a higher court to determine whether there were any mistakes of law and if they warrant a reversal of the trial court’s decision.
  • Appellate, appellate court – Appellate has to do with matters of appeal; the appellate court considers the appeal of the lower court’s judgment.
  • Affirmed – When the verdict of the lower court was deemed right by the appellate court, this is called “affirmed.”
  • Brief – Each side in an appeal presents a written brief, or statement, to the appeals court that explains their position.
  • Judgment – The judgment is the jury or judge’s final decision, or ruling, in a trial court, which may be appealed under certain conditions.
  • Trial, trial court – In a trial, a judge and/or jury considers the evidence, listens to issues and decides the case’s outcome. The trial court is where a civil case begins.
  • United States Supreme Court – The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. is the nation’s highest court. It has final appellate jurisdiction and authority over every court in the country.

These are only a few of the terms and definitions you are likely to hear in an appeals case. For more information on the appeals process, please visit our page here.

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