Banning Rule 36 Affirmances: Be Careful What You Ask For

Law360, New York (August 25, 2017, 12:02 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit uses Rule 36 affirmances to dispose of appeals when “an opinion would have no precedential value.” Not unique to the Federal Circuit, the procedural mechanism is a valuable tool for resolving easy cases without the need for a written opinion. It enables the court to manage an increasing caseload and dispense justice quickly.

In recent months, however, the Rule 36 affirmance has come under attack. Some have argued — erroneously — that a specific statute bars a...
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