In this article, I argue that litigants identify the appellate courts as offering a powerful and public arena where litigants’ claims are placed (at least temporarily) on an equal footing with the current state of the law. In this context, the initiation of appeals is treated as synonymous with receiving endorsements from the appellate courts that the litigants’ original claims had sufficient merit to deserve better treatment than they had received previously from either the opposing parties or the trial courts. These actions work to raise appellants’ social status, and I propose that such activity is one additional reason why some litigants might appeal.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science