The Maryland Judiciary is comprised of 4 court levels: 2 trial courts and 2 appellate courts. The function of a trial court is to consider evidence in a case and to make judgments based on the facts and underlying law and legal precedent. This may result in the awarding of monetary damages or other relief in a civil case, or the imposition of imprisonment or fines in a criminal case. Appellate courts review a trial court's actions and decisions in given cases and decide whether the trial judge properly followed the law and legal precedent.
For jury trials, the appellate court may have to decide whether the jury's decision was proper, given the facts presented and the underlying law in the case. Generally, appellate courts do not decide which party won or lost a trial, nor do they conduct a new trial. Rather, they review the earlier trial and determine whether or not it was fair, according to the law.