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Appeals are possible in both criminal and civil cases, although only a defendant may appeal in a criminal trial while either a plaintiff or defendant can appeal after a civil suit. When an appeal occurs, the person requesting the appeal (the appellant) asks a higher court to take a look at what was done in the original trial and to determine whether the outcome was proper based on court rules and application of the law. There is a specific process for appeals that is very different from the initial phase of litigation. To learn more about this process and the rules governing appellate litigation, see the links to answers and articles on this page.