Extension of Time to Appeal May Not Be Available When a Party Has Failed Adequately to Monitor Events in a Case


If you do not learn of a federal trial court’s dispositive order until more than 30 days after the order’s entry, can you still appeal? A recent decision in Texas instructs that the answer may be “No.” In Two-Way Media, LLC v. AT&T Operations, Inc., No. SA-09-CA-00476-OCG (W.D. Tex. Feb. 6, 2014), appeal pending, No. _____ (Fed. Cir., filed Feb. 13, 2014) (not yet docketed), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas declined to extend or re- open the time to file a notice of appeal pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a), because it concluded that the would-be appellants failed properly to monitor the case to learn if appealable orders had been entered.

Several substantive and administrative motions were pending before the district court, including defendants’ post- trial motions for judgment as a matter of law and a new trial. The court issued orders resolving all of the motions on the same day, but the notices defendants received from the court’s electronic case filing (ECF) system did not state that the court had denied the substantive post-trial motions. Rather than reading the actual orders, counsel for the defendants relied on the descriptions in the ECF notices. Based on those descriptions, they believed the substantive post-trial motions were still pending. They did not learn otherwise until more than 30 days after the orders were entered. They then moved under Rule 4(a) to extend or re- open the time to file an appeal because they did not receive sufficient notice of the substance of the orders.

Please see full Article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.