Lessons from the new U.S. Supreme Court decision affecting timing for filing federal appeals

Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago

Whenever you appear before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, be ready to discuss the court’s jurisdiction over your appeal, or else you may fall victim to “the button.” As described by Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, the button is a metaphorical device that opens a trapdoor beneath these unprepared lawyers, plunging them 27 floors down, out the Seventh Circuit’s building, and onto the streets of Chicago.

The problem is, sometimes federal judges guard their jurisdiction a little too zealously, and end up pressing the button a little too hastily. That’s what happened in this case.

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