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Basic Rules to Remember for Appeals
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Basic Rules to Remember for Appeals
- Appeals may only be taken from final judgments; anything else is an interlocutory appeal

- If you don't preserve the error in the trial court, you usually can't argue the issue on appeal
When can you appeal?
Final orders; some interlocutory order
Finality
an appeal usually may only be taken from a FINAL ORDER (28 USC 1291), an order that fully and finally adjudicates all the claims or the rights & liabilities of the parties [all claims are resolved]

*see FRCP 54(b)
Tip to think about finality
think ab the claims you had at the beginning and what's going on with them now - if they're resolved/nothing else left for the court to decide, it's probably a final order
what are some Examples of final and appealable orders?
an order dismissing all claims on summary judgment, an order denying a JNOV + motion for new trial
is determine a final order easy?
determining what a "final order" is is not always easy

Ex. "this is a final and appealable order" ← sometimes that tells you but sometimes not
What to do if you're not sure if an order is final?
Motion to Certify as Final and Appealable, Motion to Clarify, etc. — file some motion to get in front of the judge to ask if the motion is a final order

+ Sometimes the judge can say that an order that would normally be non-final is actually final.
(FRCP 54(b))
what is the time limit for appeals?
The time limit is usually 30 days (28 USC 2107) (use FRCP 6 to count)
Appeals + Jursidction
remember, the court you're in must always have subject matter jurisdiction, the ability to hear that type of case
do appellate courts have jurisdiction for appeals?
Appellate courts have no jurisdiction (usually) until there's a final judgment.

** once a final judgment is entered, they only have jurisdiction for 30 days (usually)
are time limits for appeal flexible?
In general, time limits can be flexible. But you CANNOT BLOW the time limit for appeal under 28 USC 2107 or any state equivalent (bc once that time is up, the appellate court has no jurisdiction )
when does trial court lose jurisdiction?
Once the Notice of Appeal is filed, the trial court LOSES jurisdiction (mostly)

-Trial court may still have jurisdiction over collateral issues (ex. collections)

-Another ex. stay of injunctive relief
What is interlocutory appeals?
any appeal from a NON-FINAL order/before the matter has reached a final judgment; also can think of this as "immediate" appea
what are Specific Instances Where Interlocutory Appeals are Permitted?

(in other words, the following orders may be appealed before a matter has reached a final
judgment)
- Class certification actions

- appeals under injunctions/ injunctive relief

- federal courts may certify an order for appeal where there is "a controlling question
of law as to which there is a substantial ground for difference of opinion (28 U.S.C 1292 (b))

- Refusal to stay injunctive relief/refusal of injunction (see FRAP 8) [the stay order is appealable]

- Grants of intervening actions (immediately appealable)

- Contempt order (these are considered final)

- Anything else a party moves to certify for interlocutory appeal 1292(b) (Motion to Certify As An
Interlocutory Appeal)
Class certification actions
(district court orders granting or refusing class action certification are
"immediately appealable") under FRCP 23(f) [Court of Appeals (COA) has to accept it]