Appealing (but not necessarily winning) to improve your social status

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-443
Number of pages17
JournalLaw and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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