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Appeals Before a Final Judgment: Substantive and Procedural Strategies for Appealing “Final” Decisions

Framing the Issue, Statutory Rights, Common Law Doctrines, Collateral Orders, Discretionary Review, Writs of Mandamus

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, October 17, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE will discuss advanced substantive and procedural strategies for filing successful interlocutory appeals in federal courts.


Federal litigants normally must wait until the end of district court proceedings to bring an appeal. But some district court decisions are appealable on an interlocutory basis. And while such appeals can be challenging to obtain, they are an essential strategic tool for appellants to consider carefully. Whether an adjudication is final for appeal is subject to artful appellate advocacy. As Prof. Bryan Lammon has written in Finality, Appealability, and the Scope of Interlocutory Review (2018), federal courts "regularly elaborate on what it means for a decision to be 'final,' and those elaborations account for much of the current law."

Many statutory and case law exceptions authorize interlocutory appeals when a claim has not been finally resolved. Under 28 U.S.C. 1292(b), a party can seek review of an interlocutory order that features a controlling question of law where there is substantial ground for a difference of opinion, and where an immediate appeal may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.

Similarly, under the collateral order doctrine, an appellate court will treat a prejudgment order as final if it conclusively resolves a critical issue independent of the merits, and the order is effectively unreviewable on appeal because of the irreversible effects of the decision. And even if there is no entitlement to an interlocutory appeal, counsel can still petition the court of appeal for a writ of mandamus.

Listen as our authoritative panel of appellate practitioners provides insights and discusses practical strategies and approaches to interlocutory appeals--including differences between jurisdictions--that counsel should leverage to maintain their clients' favorable outcomes in the trial court and potentially obtain even more significant relief.



  1. Overview
  2. Statutes and rules
  3. The collateral order doctrine (and other common law doctrines establishing finality)
  4. Best practices and practical considerations
  5. Recent trends and cases


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are innovative strategies for framing issues on appeal?
  • When do appeals of interlocutory orders feature a controlling question of law where there is substantial ground for a difference of opinion?
  • What statutory grounds provide for immediately appealing interlocutory orders?
  • How does one appeal the denial of a dispositive motion?
  • What are best practices for timing an interlocutory appeal?
  • What common law doctrines establishing "finality" can be exploited for successful appeals?
  • What are the differences in how various circuits treat permissive and discretionary interlocutory appeals?
  • How can mandamus petitions be used to secure relief from orders that are not final?


Khula, Bruce
Bruce A. Khula

Squire Patton Boggs

Mr. Khula focuses his practice on appellate and complex litigation in state and federal courts, including consumer...  |  Read More

Lee, Scottie
Scottie F. Lee

Ellis & Winters

Ms. Lee focuses her practice on complex litigation, antitrust, and appeals. She is a frequent presenter and author on a...  |  Read More

Subbaraman, Mahesha
Mahesha Subbaraman


Mr. Subbaraman is dedicated to providing clients from all walks of life with effective appellate representation. In...  |  Read More

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