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Appellate procedure consists of the rules and practices by which appellate courts review trial court judgments. Appellate review performs several functions, including: the correction of errors committed by the trial court, development of the law and precedent to be followed and anticipated in future disputes, and the pursuit of justice. In reviewing errors of the lower court, the errors focused on are of a legal nature, appellate courts will usually not disturb factual findings.

Several issues are foremost in appeals, such as what judgments are appealable, how appeals are brought before the court, what will be required for a reversal of the lower court (e.g., a showing of "abuse of discretion," "clear error," etc.), and what procedures parties must follow.

In order to bring an appeal, there must be a finality in the decision or order appealed. See, for example, the federal "final judgment rule" at 28 U.S.C. § 1291. There are, however, exceptions to the "final judgment rule." They include: instances of plain or fundamental error by the trial court, questions of subject-matter jurisdiction of the trial court, or constitutional questions. See, for example, the Federal statute on appealable interlocutory (non-final) decisions at 28 U.S.C. § 1292.

Arguments upon appeal are made mainly through written briefs, which present the questions on appeal and cite the legal authorities and arguments in support of each party's position. A minority of jurisdictions allow for oral argument as a matter of course. Where allowed, oral argument is intended to clarify legal issues presented in the briefs. Ordinarily, oral arguments are subjected to a time limit extended only upon the discretion of the court.

There are dual systems applicable to appeals. Federal appellate courts are governed by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. State appellate courts are governed by their own state rules of appellate procedure.

Relevant Appeal forms include:

  • AOC-CR-426; Non-Capital Criminal and Non-Criminal Appeals Fee Application Order for Payment
  • Judgment Against Indigent or Parent/Guardian
  • Docketing Statement Appeal to the Court of Civil Appeals
  • Notice of Appeal - Supreme Court or Court of Appeals
  • Notice of Appeal - Supreme Court or Court of Appeals - Money Judgment - Stay
  • Docketing Statement Appeal to the Court of Civil Appeals
  • Court of Criminal Appeals Docketing Statement
  • Notice of Appeal to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals by the Trial Court Clerk
  • Appeal Bond - To the Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Designation of Record for Appeals from Tribunals other than District Courts
  • Affidavit in Compliance with Small Claims Rule 9 & Court of Appeals Rule 49(C)(6)
  • Civil Appeals Docketing Statement
  • Ninth Circuit Civil Appeals Docketing Statement
  • Change of Address Board of Imm. Appeals
  • Notice of Appeal to the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU)
  • Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Letters - Notification of Opinion
  • Letters - Notification of Opinion (Court of Appeals)
  • Notice of Appeal to Court of Appeals
  • Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Alabama or the Court of Appeals of Alabama
  • Notice of Completion of Record for Appeals from District Court
  • Notice of Appeal from Examiner to the Board of Patent Appeals - Patents
  • Complaint for Judicial Review of Social Security Appeals Council Decision
  • Workers' Compensation Appeals Board - Workers' Compensation

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