It is nearly expected that a party who lost at trial has the right to appeal. We never think of it as a conditional right, even though some pre-conditions are obvious, such as filing within a certain time — usually 30 or 60 days, depending on the state and the court.
In civil cases, there is another condition. In order to dissuade a losing party from filing an appeal simply to avoid the judgment’s consequences a bit longer, an appellant must post a bond when filing its appeal.
A Jacksonville non-profit company recently learned that this was no mere technicality. It appealed the award of a contract to manage local substance abuse and mental health programs to another company. It failed to pay the bond. Its appeal was dismissed and the company lost its case without the appeal being heard on the merits.
The bond needs not always be for the total sum of the judgment. It can even occasionally be replaced with other forms of security. Part of my job as an appellate attorney is to work with my client to preserve the appeal and let it be heard on the merits.