09:37, July 12 280 0 abajournal.com

2017-07-12 09:37:04
Harumph! Chief Judge Diane Wood displays irritation with flawed jurisdictional statements

Chief Judge Diane Wood made her frustration clear in a pair of orders on Monday, lamenting litigants’ failure to follow circuit rules that help the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals screen for jurisdictional problems.

Wood used all caps to order that briefs filed by the Air Line Pilots Association and the U.S. Justice Department be “STRICKEN.” Reuters noted her displeasure.

Circuit rules require those who file appeals to include a jurisdictional statement. Litigants responding to the appeal who see no problems with that statement must state the summary is both complete and correct.

“These terms are not synonyms,” Wood said in the orders (PDFs, here and here). You can’t list one without the other, she indicated.

The Justice Department brief said the jurisdictional statement was correct, but said nothing about whether it was complete. The Air Line Pilots Association, on the other hand, said the jurisdictional statement was complete, but said nothing about whether it was correct.

“There is no reason why, month after month, year after year, the court should encounter jurisdictional statements with such obvious flaws,” Wood wrote. She gave the attorney general and the association seven days to submit new briefs that follow the rules.

Wood said she was issuing the opinions in hopes that lawyers and pro se litigants “will take heed and avoid these errors in the future.”

“These requirements may seem straightforward,” Wood wrote, “but a distressing number of briefs filed in this court do not comply with the requirements.”