Differences Between Trial Court and Appeal Court in Florida

Ted Doran pic

Ted Doran
Image: doranlaw.com

Attorney Ted Doran serves as senior partner at the law firm of Doran Sims Wolfe & Ciocchetti in Daytona Beach, Florida. An alumnus of the University of Florida College of Law with extensive experience in civil litigation, Ted Doran has represented multiple government agencies in major cases. As the attorney for the Volusia County school board, Mr. Doran represented the school district in a case on school funding heard before Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit Court and the First District Court of Appeal.

Also called courts of general jurisdiction, Florida Circuit Courts use a two-tiered system of lower county courts and higher circuit courts. These courts are where cases originate and only affect the individuals directly involved in the case. Since they also hear appeals from county court cases, Florida Circuit Courts are the lowermost appellate court and the uppermost trial court in the state.

A Court of Appeal, sometimes referred to as an appellate court, reviews cases decided by lower trial courts. In Florida, there are five district Courts of Appeal that are responsible for ensuring that no errors in judgment occur. In a court of appeals case, a panel of judges reviews the lower court case and determines whether the lower court reached the right decision.

Since Court of Appeal cases set a precedent on the interpretation and application of law, they have the potential to affect many people. The ultimate court in the state is the Florida Supreme Court.


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