00. Notes on Appellate Review

00. Notes on Appellate Review - NOTES ON APPELLATE...

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NOTES ON APPELLATE REVIEW {These notes are based on, and are often taken verbatim from, portions of the Friedenthal, Miller, Sexton and Hershkoff casebook, published by Thompson - West, which is used by several Temple Civil Procedure teachers, and portions of the related Hornbook.} THE PRINCIPLE OF FINALITY The basic rule is that an appeal from a trial court decision cannot be taken until a final judgment has been entered. There are important exceptions that you will study in other law school courses. Below is an excerpt from an article that discusses some of the pros and cons of the “Final Judgement Rule.” COOPER, EXTRAORDINARY WRIT PRACTICE IN CRIMINAL CASES: ANALOGIES FOR THE MILITARY COURTS, 98 F.R.D. 593, 594-96 (1983): A truly final judgment is one that marks the completion of all the events that will occur in a trial court. Nothing more remains to be done, unless it be execution of a judgment against the defendant. The advantages that may be gained by deferring appeals until entry of a truly final judgment are familiar, and can be summarized in short order. Immediate review of every ruling made by a trial court could not be tolerated. Repeated interruptions and delays could put the trial process beyond any reasonable control, even if appeals were taken only when there was a good faith and reasonable belief that the court was wrong. The opportunities for less honorable delay and harassment of an adversary also would not go entirely unexploited. More limited opportunities for interlocutory review would not be so disastrous, but would carry some part of the same costs. The possible advantages to be set against these costs arise from the opportunity to correct a wrong ruling. These advantages, however, are reduced by the prospects that most trial court rulings are correct: that wrong rulings often are corrected by the trial court; and that uncorrected wrong rulings will not, in the end, taint the final judgment. The price that is paid for a final judgment rule, however, can be high. An erroneous ruling may taint everything that follows. If appeal must be delayed until final judgment, it may become necessary to repeat the entire trial proceeding. The costs of repeating the trial go beyond the obvious costs of expense and anxiety. The further proceedings will be held later, and may suffer from lapses of memory, inconsequential inconsistencies that are blown into exaggerated importance, and actual loss of evidence. Beyond these defects, the retrial proceedings often will be affected by lessons learned at the first trial. * * * The problem is more than one of boredom; strategies have been revealed and must be revised, opportunities to sustain truth by impeachment are diminished, and so on.
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2 * * * Beyond the impact on individual cases, loss of the opportunity for interlocutory review means that some areas of law must develop without having much opportunity for appellate guidance. Questions of discovery, for example, may confuse and divide trial courts for years
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00. Notes on Appellate Review - NOTES ON APPELLATE...

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