Bryan Lammon

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Emory L. J. Online


In Hall v. Hall, the Supreme Court held that the resolution of a single action consolidated with other actions is a 'final decision''and thus immediately appealable'regardless of whether the other actions remain pending. But in deciding Hall, the Court had no good options. Like so many of its other decisions on appellate jurisdiction, the Court had to choose between a straightforward but pragmatically unsound rule (the option it ultimately took) or a pragmatic rule that would add to the confusion that already exists in matters of appellate jurisdiction. Hall was thus a classic lose-lose scenario. But Hall also illustrates the path forward: rulemaking. The federal courts alone cannot resolve the many issues that vex federal appellate jurisdiction. The Rules Committee must step in to reform this area of law.

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