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Ask Marilyn: What Percentage of Appealed Court Decisions Are Overturned?
Kara B. of Glenelg, Marland, writes:
Marilyn: What percentage of appealed court decisions are overturned?
According to the last examination done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 15 percent of civil trial decisions were appealed, about half by plaintiffs and half by defendants. Of these appeals, about 43 percent were dismissed or withdrawn, often due to the parties’ settling. In the remaining 57 percent, about a third were modified or reversed, either by an intermediate court or a court of last resort. Interestingly, verdicts in favor of plaintiffs were modified or reversed twice as often as judgments favoring defendants. So roughly one in five appealed decisions are invalidated, but most of those cases are sent back for a new trial, some with instructions for modifying an award.