Updated: July 23, 2019
Statistics released by the Massachusetts Appeals Court confirm the conventional wisdom that appeals are difficult to win. In 2018, the latest year for which statistics are available, Appeals Court panels decided 1154 cases, split roughly evenly between civil and criminal matters. The Appeals Court affirmed the lower court in 412 of 554 decisions rendered in civil cases, or 74.4% of the time. It reversed in 83 cases (15%) and reached some other result in the remaining 59 cases (10.6%).
The statistics also showed that the vast majority of civil cases appealed to the Appeals Court originate in the Superior Court Department of the Trial Court, and that more than four of every five appeals decided by the Appeals Court result in unreported, summary dispositions rather than published opinions.
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