This section discusses how an appeals court decides whether a lower court made an error. Appeal is available in any of the direct appeal categories defined by statute, which include appeals from final judgments. Appeal may also be available from orders prior to final judgment by following the interlocutory review procedures. In some categories of cases, appeal is not available without prior approval of the appeals court pursuant to discretionary review. A case may also be brought up on appeal if the higher court grants certiorari. The appellant tells the appeals court which of the trial court’s rulings are at issue in the enumeration of errors. Depending on the type of issues being appealed, the appeals court applies different standards of review to the errors asserted. Even if the appeals court determines that error occurred, the court might not disturb the lower court’s decision if it was harmless error.
Georgia Appeals Law Guide / Appellate Law Treatise