Difference Between Trial Court and Appellate Court: What You Need to Know

Need to settle a dispute in court? Whether you require professional representation for a business disagreement or a complex dissolution, here is what you need to know about the differences between trial court and appellate court in the state Minnesota.

What is a Trial Court?

  • A trial court is where all civil cases begin, and it’s actually where the majority of lawsuits are settled.
  • This process includes a trial judge who oversees the process and decides which evidence is allowed and which is not.
  • A jury will decide the final verdict of the case, once all the evidence and testimony has been given and both parties have nothing further to present.

What is an Appellate Court?

  • After the final verdict of a trial court, a party may file for an appeal, if there is sufficient evidence that the trial court may not have applied the law correctly or without bias.
  • Unlike a trial court, there is no jury present in appellate court. Instead, there is a panel of judges who are tasked with the responsibility of reviewing the trial case (e.g. testimony, court records, legal briefs, etc.)
  • If an attorney discovers new evidence, but it was not presented during the initial trial court case, the appellate court will not consider it on appeal.
  • The final verdict of whether or not the trial court was conducted in accordance to the law is decided by the panel of judges.

According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch website, “By law, the Court must issue a decision within 90 days of oral arguments. If no oral argument is held, a decision is due within 90 days of the case’s scheduled conference date. This deadline is the shortest imposed on any appellate court in the nation.”

Find Support from an Experienced Legal Team

At KTF Law Firm, our team of attorneys work to ensure you feel prepared and empowered before your trial case begins. We’ll help you complete all the necessary paperwork and provide you with experienced representation to give you peace of mind and the justice you deserve.

Contact us today for a consultation. We look forward to helping you review your case!