If a judge makes a factual error, and that error was an important part of his judgement, can the judgement be appealed?
Normally, an appellate court will only consider matters of law and assume the matters of fact as being settled at the full discretion of the trial judge.
What if the judgement makes a clear error of fact? For example, imagine that in the judgement it reads as follows:
Since luminol will only fluoresce in the presence of blood, we can assume that the blood of the victim was present.
This statement is simply factually incorrect. Luminol will fluoresce when in contact with a wide range of catalyst materials, not just blood.
So, in this case the judge has made a factual error. Can such a provable error be the basis for an appellate court to overturn or remand a lower court decision?