Civil Appeals FAQs

The following information about civil appeals in the Washington State Court of Appeals is meant to give both parties and attorneys a readily accessible overview of a handful of key issues. 

In no way does it offer a substitute for close study of the relevant Rules of Appellate Procedure (the “RAPs). 

To get a PDF copy of the complete FAQs, click here.

Basic vocabulary of the appeal process

To appeal or not to appeal

                What will an appeal cost?

                Will the benefits exceed the costs?

Initiating Review

Who may appeal a decision of a Washington State Superior Court? 

                What are the deadlines for filing for review?

                What if another party has already filed a timely Notice? 

                What sort of Notice is required?

Where must the Notice be filed?

Does filing a Notice of Appeal have different consequences from filing a Notice for Discretionary Review?

Case scheduling in the Court of Appeals

What is the standard timeline after the Court of Appeals accepts review?

What can disrupt the standard timeline?

Can a motion on the merits accelerate review?

What if the defendant in the trial court files for bankruptcy protection during the appeal?

Persuading the Court of Appeals

How does the Court of Appeals understand its job on review?

                Scope of Review

                Standards of Review

How does the Court of Appeals apply the “substantial evidence” standard of review to factual findings that had to be established by “clear, cogent, and convincing” evidence at trial?

Will the Court of Appeals consider new evidence on appeal?

Will the Court of Appeals revisit a trial court’s decisions about witness credibility?

Will the Court of Appeals consider new arguments on appeal?

Tips for writing persuasive briefs.

Does oral argument matter?

 After the Court of Appeals issues its opinion

                 What should you do if you’ve won?

 What should you do if you’ve lost?

Collecting on a judgment during the appeal—or staying any collection effort

                Does acceptance of review by the Court of Appeals prevent a party from executing on a judgment obtained in the trial court?

What happens if execution on the judgment is not stayed, and the judgment is eventually reversed?