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Appeals can be fruitless and wasteful pursuits

When people receive an unfavorable result in a trial court, they have a right to appeal. However, many people don’t quite understand the true ramifications of an appeal. There is a relatively small percentage of cases that are decided on appeal. Lawyers call that “reversed and rendered.” That is where the Superior Court reverses the trial court and then makes a decision. The overwhelming majority of cases are not reversed and rendered. The overwhelming majority of cases are reversed and “remanded.” This means that the higher court sends the matter back to the very same trial court to review the matter in light of the instructions of the Superior Court. Sometimes this can result in a different result and sometimes it won’t. In the recent decision of RENFRO v. RENFRO, NO. 2015-CA-00534-COA CONSOLIDATED WITH NO. 2012-CA-00616-COA, https://courts.ms.gov/Images/Opinions/CO118433.pdf, the appellate court reversed a result of a trial court for failure to properly classify land inherited by the wife. The wife obviously viewed this as a victory. However, upon remand, the trial court reached the very same result, by simply adjusting the property distribution by awarding the husband a lump sum award of money to make up for the money lost from the improper classification. The net result was no change in the result.