Among the most frustrating issues for appellate lawyers is the time it takes for an appellate court to issue a decision. Though the median lead time from oral argument to disposition is just a shade under two months (at least in the federal system), yearlong wait times are not uncommon. In certain contexts, this delay can spell disaster.

Can a lawyer tell a judge to pick up the pace? The blink response is usually no: judging is a deliberative process and trying to expedite a decision can adversely affect your client. A series of events before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a case called In re Trump Entertainment Resorts, involving the Trump Taj Mahal Casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, however, might suggest otherwise.

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