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Presents information collected from studies that examine civil trials on appeal. These studies include—
- the types of civil cases appealed after trials to an intermediate appellate court or court of last resort,
- the impact of the appellate process on trial court outcomes,
- the extent that appellate claims are dismissed or withdrawn before deciding on the merits, and
- case processing time in appellate courts.
Findings detail the characteristics of general civil bench and jury trials appealed; the frequency with which appellate courts affirmed, reversed, or modified trial court outcomes. Data were collected from the administrative files of 84 appellate courts. These findings provide national-level estimates of the effect of appellate court litigation on outcomes of civil trials disposed.
- Plaintiffs and defendants appealed 15% of the 26,950 tort, contract, and real property bench and jury trials concluded in state trial courts in 2005.
- Sixty-one percent of civil appeals were decided on the merits, while the remainder were dismissed or withdrawn.
- The trial court verdict or judgment was fully or partly reversed in 35% of civil appeals decided on the merits.
- The average case processing time for appeals decided on the merits was 14 months, while appeals that were dismissed or withdrawn were disposed on average within 6 months.
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