De Novo Appeal Law and Legal Definition

De novo appeal refers to an appeal in which the appellate court uses the trial court's record but reviews the evidence and law without yeilding to the trial court's rulings. "De novo" is a standard of review that can be applied on appeal. When an issue is reviewed de novo, the reviewing court substitutes its judgment for that of the trial court. "De novo" is a Latin expression meaning "anew," "from the beginning," "afresh." De novo appeal is also referred to as de novo judicial review or de novo review.

Trials de novo are uncommon due to the time and judicial resources required to try the facts of a case more than once. However, De novo review of legal matters on appeal is quite common. Appellate courts often hear legal issues de novo, with no deference afforded to the trial court, where the issue may not have gotten full briefing and attention. Decisions of federal administrative agencies are generally subject to de novo review in the U.S. District Courts.