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Appeals FAQ. The Q & A
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16. What types of opinions do appellate courts issue and what does it mean if the appellate court simply affirms? 

Generally, the appellate court will file one of the following kinds of Opinions: (1) they will uphold, what we call “affirm”, the lower court decision, which means the lower court decision stands, and either write an Opinion that explains their decision or write nothing but the word “affirmed”; or (2) they will reverse the lower court decision in whole or in part, with a written Opinion that explains their decision; or (3) they will reverse and remand or send the case back to lower court for further action. 

If the appellate court simply affirms, it does not mean that the appellate court thought the appeal was frivolous. They have the power to say it is if they think it is. It means that the appellate court does not view the issues on appeal as being different enough from the existing body of case law that it requires writing an Opinion.