Apellate Court (Political Science)

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  • Any court that has the authority to hear appeals of a lower court's decision. In most cases, the appellate court reviews only for legal errors in a case and not the findings of fact of the lower court. If facts are reviewed, it is usually only for “clear error.” A panel of judges hears a case in an appellate court, instead of the single judge present in a trial court. Furthermore, an appellate court has no witnesses or jury present. Appellate court judges are expected to write reasons for their decisions in published “opinions,” whereas this practice is unusual at the lower court level. Specialized appellate courts exist in the federal and state systems; among them are the federal Court of Customs and Patent Appeals ...

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