Equity Appeal

In common law cases the appellate court could ordinarily review only rulings of law. In equity cases, on the other hand, the appellate court could review findings of fact as well as conclusions of law. The significant thing about common law pleadings in error was that their scope was so limited that they did not bring about a review of the merits of the judgment. The appellate court did not pass on whether or not the judgment below was fair or just, nor on what the correct judgment should have been. Instead, the sole question was, Did the trial judge commit an error? The function of an appellate court in reviewing equity cases, on the other hand, is not to search the record for errors of law, but to examine the result in the light of the evidence to see if justice has been done. Thus, the equity doctrine is in accord with the modern theory that the primary purpose of review is to see that justice is done in the individual case.