This guide permits analysts to classify an appellate court's caseload and disposition data into standard case types and to distinguish between a court's mandatory and discretionary jurisdiction. It also permits the identification of proceedings some appellate courts count as cases but which do not comply with standard national definitions of an appellate court case. The guide significantly improves the understanding of missing data in national statistics and pinpoints where in the process various appellate courts count cases. Components of the 'opinion count' are more accurately distinguished, as is the role of oral argument in appellate case processing. The guide helps correct double counting problems that resulted from an inability to identify whether granted appeal petitions retained the same docket number or were refiled as regular appeals. Some of the time standards used in appellate court processing are outlined. Appendixes contain a prototype profile of the guide, survey sources, and list of courts giving final verification by publication date.