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A person in a lawsuit who appeals to a higher court to overturn a lower court's decision on an issue of law. In some personal injury lawsuits, the court will defer payment of a judgment until after an appeals court has made a decision.


When the unsuccessful party in a lawsuit petitions a superior court to review the final decision on the ground that it was based upon an incorrect interpretation of the law.


An alternative to resolving lawsuits in the courtroom, this method allows the two sides to select an impartial third party known as an arbitrator to listen to both arguments and settle the dispute. Both parties agree to accept the arbitrator’s award and then present evidence and testimony. The arbitrator’s decision is final and is rarely re-examined in court.