If at First You do Not Succeed: An Overview of Remedies Available in the United States Courts of Appeals
In the United States federal court system, from a procedural standpoint, it has been the historic policy that appeals to the Courts of Appeal lie only from final decisions by the district courts. This policy, dubbed the final judgment rule, is designed to prevent a piecemeal approach to appellate practice, and to enhance efficiency and fairness. Applied overly strictly, the rule can often lead to unfair results, and even irreparable harm. This article catalogues the primary exceptions to the final judgment rule, and discusses those instances when interlocutory appeals may be taken short of district court rulings disposing of all issues as to all parties, that is, final judgments.
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