Record On Appeal
The function of the appellate court is limited to a review of the trial record sent up from the lower court and the briefs filed by the appellant and appellee. AMICUS CURIAE briefs, if permitted by the appellate court, also become part of the record on appeal. The trial record, sometimes called the record proper, must show the pleadings that initiated the case, the complete transcript (in cases of jury trial) of lower court proceedings, the verdict, and the entry of the final judgment or order. The appellant must clearly demonstrate that the grounds for review had been raised and unsuccessfully decided upon at the trial level and, therefore, prejudicial error exists to warrant the reversal of the decision of the lower court.
In some jurisdictions, a bill of exceptions—a written statement of the objections made by a party to the ruling, decision, charge, or opinion of the trial judge—must be submitted to the appellate court to provide a history of the trial proceedings. It should not include matters that belong in the record proper but, instead, should state those points concerning QUESTIONS OF LAW raised by the exceptions taken during the trial. The appellant's attorney prepares the bill and presents it to the trial judge for settlement, an agreement between the trial judge and the appellant that the bill contains a truthful account of the events of the trial. If there is disagreement, the judge returns the bill to the appellant with an explanation. The appellee must be given notice of the time and place of the settlement of the bill of exceptions in order to object to or approve its contents. The settled bill of exceptions becomes part of the trial transcript, which is part of the record on appeal. The appellant must submit a complete unabridged transcript of the trial that is prepared by the clerk of the trial court.
The entire trial record is printed and filed with the appellate court, and a copy is also sent to the appellee.
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