The losing party (or a prevailing party contending that the damages were insufficient) may ask for review of the trial court's decision in an appellate court. In the federal system, the party must appeal to the court of appeals in the appropriate circuit.
In Michigan there are two levels of appellate courts; parties challenging trial court decisions generally must bring their appeals to the intermediate court first. However, because intermediate appellate courts often have some limited discretion to determine which civil cases they will hear, not all civil appeals will necessarily be accepted, in which case the lower court's verdict will stand.
Appeals courts review the procedures of lower courts and ensure that the law was properly applied. As a general rule, they do not retry cases. They don't hear witnesses and weigh evidence. Instead, in an appeal, the appellant must persuade the court to reverse the trial court's judgment because of some significant legal errors that occurred during the trial, such as the improper admission or exclusion of evidence, or erroneous instructions on the law given by the judge to the jury, which are likely to have affected the result. The appellee, on the other hand, will seek to persuade the court that no error was made in the lower court or that if there was an error, it was harmless because it did not affect the outcome. A printed transcript of the trial court proceedings, together with the original papers and exhibits, may be forwarded to the court for consideration in deciding the appeal.
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