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Appellant is the party who appeals a lower court's judgment or order to a higher court. The appellant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the proceeding and seeks review by a higher court to overturn or modify the decision. In some courts, it is also referred to as a petitioner. The appellant is generally required to file a notice of appeal to show that there are sufficient grounds for appeal.

By contrast, the appellee is the party against whom the appeal is filed and responds to and defends the appeal. The appellee is also referred to as the respondent.

Suppose P sues D and wins. D files an appeal. D is the appellant, and P is the appellee. And if D wins the lawsuit and P files an appeal, the roles are reversed. P becomes the appellant and D is the appellee.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]