The act of taking part in a lawsuit. Appearance refers not only to physical presence in court when required, but also to procedural compliance (e.g., filing an answer, participating in discovery). The term can refer to parties in the case, and...


The party who appeals a lower court's decision in a higher court. The appellant seeks reversal or modification of the decision. By contrast, the appellee is the party against whom the appeal is filed.

Suppose P sues D, and wins. D files an...

Appellate Jurisdiction


Appellate jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to hear appeals from lower courts.


Appellate jurisdiction includes the power to reverse or modify the the lower court's decision. Appellate jurisdiction exists for both...

Appellate Procedure

Appellate Procedure: An Overview

Appellate procedure consists of the rules and practices by which appellate courts review trial court judgments. Appellate review performs several functions, including correcting errors committed by a trial court,...


The party against whom an appeal is filed. The appellee usually seeks affirmance of the lower court's decision. By contrast, the appellant is the party who filed the appeal.

Suppose P sues D, and wins. D files an appeal. P is the appellee,...



To move towards the bench in order to have a conversation with the judge and opposing counsel off the record and/or out of the jury's earshot. An attorney or juror (during voir dire) must request to approach the bench, i.e. "Your honor, may I...

Approach the Witness


To move towards a witness in order to show him or her a document or exhibit. In some jurisdictions, an attorney must request to approach a witness, i.e. "May I approach the witness?"

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Michaels v. State, 970...


1. When used in reference to a judge’s ruling in a court case, arbitrary means based on individual discretion rather than a fair application of the law. For example, finding someone guilty of a crime simply because they have a beard would be an...


An ADR method with one or more persons hearing a dispute and rendering a binding decision. An agreement to arbitrate disputes can be made before or after a specific dispute arises. Since the parties can agree to the rules of arbitration (e.g.,...


A person who hears disputes and decides them, especially by way of arbitration.