Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P.

Serving Story County and Central Iowa since 1906

323 6th St.
Ames, IA 50010-0664

Phone: (515) 232-4732

CIVIL LITIGATION :: Back to Practice Areas

I. Overview
II. Litigation
III. Appealing Business Litigation
IV. Class Actions
V. Alternative Dispute Resolution
Frequently Asked Questions


Appealing Business Litigation

In an appeal, a higher court reviews a trial court decision. In order to consider an appeal, a higher court must conclude that there was a legal or procedural error leading up to the earlier decision. In civil cases (including business litigation), this process may be initiated by a motion or at the end of a trial. The appeals court will examine the lower court’s decision, and then decide whether to sustain, modify, or reverse that decision. While trial courts consider the facts and apply law, appellate courts generally only review legal questions. The review of a case on appeal depends on the presentation of questions about legal interpretation, application of the law, and procedural matters. Factual disputes are generally not considered on appeal.

Timing and ability differ between states, and between state and federal courts. Some state courts allow appeal of issues before the end of a trial. In most states, a decision can only be appealed once. In any appeal, it is vital to consult an attorney with experience in appellate law.

The number and type of appellate courts also differs between states. Often, population and the volume of business transactions determine the number and level of appellate courts in a jurisdiction. While some states have only three levels of courts (trial, appellate, and supreme or superior), others have five or six. Some states also maintain specialized appellate courts for specific issues such as taxes.

The federal legal system has a different appellate method. The lowest level of federal court is the district court, which considers factual issues as well as law. The eleven circuit courts deal only with legal questions and generally only review district court decisions. The highest federal appellate court is the Supreme Court, which has discretionary power to choose which appeals it will hear.

It is also possible for businesses to pursue legal questions before an administrative agency such as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Courts do not usually review decisions made by administrative agencies, under the assumption that those agencies have an expertise in the matter under consideration. However, the courts do reserve the power to examine these decisions.

The appeals process is complicated and its rules and procedures vary between states and situations. A business lawyer with experience in appellate law can inform you of your options and serve as a vital source of counsel and information.

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Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., is an Iowa general practice law firm with practice including, but not limited to  Administrative Law, Adoption Law, Agricultural Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Banking Law, Business Law (including business organization, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), incorporations, and sales of businesses and business assets), Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Construction Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Defense, Elder Law, Employment Law, Family Law (including divorce, prenuptial agreements, child support, child custody, dissolution modification), Government, Government Contracts, Litigation, Personal Injury (including Motor Vehicle Accidents and Wrongful Death), Product Liability, Professional Negligence Law, Real Estate (including mortgage loan closings, IRC Section 1031 exchanges, subdivisions, platting, condominiums, and cooperative housing), Municipal Law, Taxation Law and Tax Preparation, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning & Probate Law (including financial and medical powers of attorney, guardianships and conservatorships, trust administration, and estate administration), Workers Compensation, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

The offices of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., are located in Ames, Iowa. The lawyers and staff of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., serve clients throughout Iowa, including the cities of Ames, Nevada, Gilbert, Huxley, Slater, Zearing, Story City, Roland, McCallsburg, Colo, Cambridge, Sheldahl, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Fort Dodge, Waterloo, Marshalltown, Boone, Webster City, Eldora, Grundy Center, Newton, Adel, Eldora, Ankeny, Johnston, Indianola, Cedar Falls, Jefferson, Marshalltown, Clarion, Knoxville, and the communities that make up Story, Polk, Linn, Webster, Blackhawk, Marshall, Boone, Hamilton, Jasper, Dallas, Hardin, Warren, Greene, Wright, and Marion counties.