This post, from Lawrence B. Solum at the Legal Theory Blog, offers a basic introduction to the concept of the standard of review.
Law students begin to encounter the concept of a “standard of review” earlier in the first year. That’s not surprising. First-year law students read appellate cases, and every appellate decision explicitly or implicitly includes a standard of appellate review–a rule that defines the relationship between the appellate and trial court. For example, the standard of appellate review on questions of law is “de novo.” . . .
As always, the Legal Theory Lexicon is aimed at law students, especially first-year law students, with an interest in legal theory. All the usual caveats apply, this is a very basic introduction that emphasizes theoretical issues–it is not intended as a review of the various legal doctrines that are discussed.