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Recent Third Circuit Decision Contributes to Confusion Regarding Premature Notices of Appeal

On September 8, 2008 by Schnader

A recent decision by the Third Circuit adds to the confusion involving an already muddled area of the law: premature notices of appeal. 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 Third Circuit’s recent decision in the case of DeJohn v. Temple University only adds to the confusion

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