How Appeals Works

The word appeal has multiple meanings depending on the context. Generally, it can mean to request something, a criminal accusation, or attractive and interesting. Requests can be pleas for help, appeals for donations, or review of court decisions.

In law, the appeal process often occurs by taking a lower court decision to a higher court for review. Someone filing an appeal is called an appellant. The person defending the original ruling of the lower court is called an appellee or respondent. Appeals involving two or more similar cases that you can unite into a single appeal for practicality are called a joinder.

In business, an employee can also write an appeals letter if they feel they've been treated unfairly in the workplace. Examples include being demoted, fired, warned, or denied a raise unfairly. In the context of advertising, appeals refer to methods a company or person uses to attract customer attention or influence customers towards a brand, product, or service. Advertising appeals highlight customers' wants, needs, or interests to convince them towards a call of action. Usually, the action is to purchase a product or service.

Example Of An Appeal

An appeal in law is a challenge to a legal determination. They can be either discretionary or of right appeals. An appeal of right must be heard by the higher court if requested. Although every state and type of case will have various laws on appeals, there are typical grounds for appeal. These grounds are the judge making an error of law, abusing their discretion, or make decisions not supported by the facts or evidence of a case.

If a judge uses the wrong legal standard or rule in a case, this is an error of law. An error of law can also occur if the judge ignores certain considerations. For example, if a state has factors to consider regarding a child's "best interest" in custody cases and the judge does not use these factors.

Appealing cases based on an abused discretion is typically harder since appeals courts will often defer to trial court decisions. An appellant must have clear evidence abuse occurred. Examples include a judge showing bias, not allowing an important witness to testify, or ignoring certain circumstances relevant to a ruling. In divorces, abuse of discretion can include awarding alimony above an established formula or the partner's ability to pay.

Significance Of An Appeal

Sometimes errors occur within courts, especially if a lower court has less familiarity with a particular type of case. An appellant needs to be able to get a decision reviewed when mistakes have occurred. Individuals have the right to appeal under the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution.

In businesses, an appeal process is important for employees who feel unfairly treated because it provides an avenue to initiate change. An employee knowing they can request a reconsideration of a decision can stay professional within the workplace easier.

Types Of Appeals

In court, different types of cases can be subject to appeal, and the process will differ between all of them. Examples of cases include civil cases, criminal cases, bankruptcy cases, divorce cases, and disputes such as those over Social Security benefits.

In advertising, there are multiple types of appeals that brands use to encourage action in their customers. Examples include:

  • Emotional appeals: Persuades customers through emotions, such as the feelings of love with diamond advertisements.
  • Rational appeals: Uses data, logic, and facts to prompt purchases, such as detergent ads showing stain removal abilities.
  • Humor appeals: Using laughter to create an emotional link with the product, such as GEICO ads with puns and 90s music.

History of Appeals

Appeals courts have existed globally for centuries. The first appeals courts were in the Babylon dynasty. Hammurabi and his governers had the authority as the highest appeals courts of the land. Ancient Roman laws also had a right to appeal since 509 BC.

The United States introduced the legal appeal process in 1789 through a system of federal appellate courts. However, federal rights to appeal began in 1889 when Congress permitted appeals in capital cases. The creation of a circuit of nine appeals courts followed the Judiciary Act of 1891. This act is also known as the Evarts Act and the Circuit Courts of Appeals Act.