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Law Practice,
Judges and Judiciary,
Appellate Practice

Apr. 21, 2022

Appellate review of the failure to exercise discretion

When evaluating a trial court’s rulings for potential abuse of discretion, look not only for both unreasonable trial court rulings, but also an erroneous failure to exercise any discretion at all.

On appeal, it is critically important to understand the standard by which the appellate court will review the issues presented for decision. There are three basic standards: (1) the substantial evidence standard governing appellate review of the sufficiency of the evidence to support a judgment or order, (2) the de novo standard governing an appellate court’s independent review of questions of law, and (3) the abuse of discretion standard governing review of decision...

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