And while lower courts are bound in theory by higher court precedent, in practice judges may sometimes attempt to evade precedents, by distinguishing them on spurious grounds. The appeal of a decision that does not follow precedent might not occur, however, as the expense of an appeal may prevent the losing party from doing so. Thus the lower court decision may stand even though it does not follow the higher court decision, as the only way a decision can enter the appeal process is by application of one of the parties bound by it.
Occasionally, the application of prior case law results in court decisions which the judge explicitly states personal disagreement with the judgment he or she has rendered, but that he or she is required to do so by [[ binding precedent]] , that is, the issue at hand was already decided by a higher court. Note that binding precedent is thus distinct from ''stare decisis ,'' which are decisions from lateral courts, lower courts, or the same court, and affords deviation based upon " compelling justification" ( see ''Hilton v.s. Carolina Pub. Rys. Cmsn. , 502 U.S. 197, 202, 112 S. Ct. 560, 565 (1991).'')
In the United States, ''stare decisis'' can interact in counterintuitive ways with the federal and [[U.S. state|state]] court systems. On an issue of federal law, a state court is not bound by an interpretation of federal law at the district or circuit level, but is bound by an interpretation by the United States Supreme Court. On an interpretation of state law, whether [[common law]] or [[statutory law]], the federal courts are bound by the interpretation of a state court of last resort, and are normally required to defer to the precedents of intermediate state courts as well.
Courts may choose to follow precedents of other jurisdictions, but this is not an application of the doctrine of ''stare decisis'', because foreign decisions are not binding. Rather, a foreign decision that is followed on the basis of the soundness of its reasoning will be called ''[[persuasive authority]]'' — indicating that its effect is limited to the persuasiveness of the reasons it provides.
==''Stare decisis'' dalam sistem perundangan sivil==