What factors could lead an appellate court to reverse the trial court’s decision?
An appellant (person making an appeal) must specify the errors made by the lower court. Those errors may involve questions of fact or questions of law. In making your appeal, you must prove that the lower court was wrong. The appellate court may reverse the lower court’s factual findings if the record (trial transcript and exhibits) reflects a lack of a reasonable factual basis for the trial court’s finding, or that the finding is clearly wrong. If the trial court made an error in the application of the law, the appeals court may:
- Reverse the lower court’s decision and order the case to be retried applying the correct law;
- Reverse the lower court’s decision and render its own decision based on a review of the evidence; or
- Remand (return) the case to the lower court with instructions to reconsider an issue in light of the appellate court’s finding or to do something differently.