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Donna Doblick and Joshua Newborn, Reed Smith Donna Doblick and Joshua Newborn, Reed Smith

An inter-family squabble in the Virgin Islands has produced U.S. Supreme Court precedent that affects jurisdictional deadlines in thousands of cases across the country. In Hall v. Hall, No. 16-1150, 2018 (Mar. 27), the court ruled that a final judgment entered in a case that was consolidated with a related case under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42 is immediately appealable, even though the other case (or cases) remains pending in the district court. Hall changes the case-specific approach the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit took, and flatly reverses the approach taken by several other circuits. This change in the determination of what constitutes an appealable final judgment in a consolidated case is crucial because a failure to take a timely appeal from such a judgment is fatal to the party’s appellate rights.

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