Glad you asked. When I was a young legal pup, I was a little confused about how appeals work too. The process to appeal a case varies by the court that it is in front of. Generally, matters that were heard by the Superior Court can be appealed to the Washington State Court of Appeals. If you do not prevail at the Washington State Court of Appeals, you can ask the Washington State Supreme Court to accept your case for review. Review with the Washington State Supreme Court is not guaranteed and acceptance depends on numerous factors.
Yes. Washington law provides that any party that does not prevail at the trial court level can appeal to a higher court to review the matter.
Certainly. In Washington many issues, including lots of family law matters, are heard by court commissioners. Court commissioners are supervised by the trial court judges. So, if you are unsatisfied with the outcome of a hearing in front of a court commissioner, you have the right to ask that the trial court judge rehear the matter on revision (appeal) — but you have to make this request within a certain time frame or you lose your rights.
First, you have to know that there are strict time periods in which you can appeal a case. If you do not act within those time periods you will lose your right to appeal. Second, you must realize that appeals largely turn on very technical nuances in the law, and therefore, tend to be extremely complex. Your best chance at success on appeal rests with a skilled appellate attorney who knows what issues to focus on and how to present them.