Who can appeal
A party who files an appeal is called an appellant or petitioner, and a party on the other side is an appellee or respondent. Cross-appeals can also occur, when more than one party to a case is unhappy with the decision in some way, often when the winning party claims that more damages were deserved than were awarded.
The appellant is the party who, having lost part or all their claim in a lower court decision, is appealing to a higher court to have their case reconsidered. This is usually done on the basis that the lower court judge erred in the application of law, but it may also be possible to appeal on the basis of court misconduct or that a finding of fact was entirely unreasonable to make on the evidence.
The appellant in the new case can be either the plaintiff (or claimant), defendant or respondent (appellee) from the lower case, depending on who was the losing party. The winning party from the lower court, however, is now the respondent. In unusual cases the appellant can be the victor in the court below, but still appeal.
An appellee is the party to an appeal in which the lower court judgment was in its favor. The appellee is required to respond to the petition, oral arguments and legal briefs of the appellant. In general, the appellee takes the procedural posture that the lower court's decision should be affirmed.
- NOLO: "Appeals and the Writ of Habeas Corpus FAQ," accessed December 9, 2013
- DANA B. TASCHNER: "Appellate Court," accessed December 9, 2013
- Sacramento County Public Law Library: "Starting a civil appeal," accessed December 9, 2013
- Princeton: "Appeal," accessed December 9, 2013
- US Legal: "Appeals," accessed December 9, 2013