“Premature Notices of Appeal”On September 5, 2008 by Schnader
Bruce Merenstein authored a post for The Legal Intelligencer Blog published on September 5 that examined the 3rd Circuit’s decision in the case of DeJohn v. Temple University. Mr. Merenstein notes that it is a fundamental principle of federal appellate practice that, with certain narrow exceptions, appeals only lie from final judgments. Thus, a notice of appeal filed before a final judgment is entered generally is considered premature and ineffective to confer appellate jurisdiction on a court of appeals. Yet, this seemingly straightforward rule is complicated by exceptions outlined in the federal rules and contradictory rulings by the federal courts of appeals, and the DeJohn decision only adds to the confusion.