Fifth Circuit Civil Appeals Toolkit
Resources to assist attorneys litigating a civil appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, including guidance on commencing the appeal, preparing the briefs and record excerpts, making motions, and presenting oral argument to the court.
When litigating a civil action in federal district court, a party generally has the right to appeal to a federal court of appeals (also known as a circuit court) from a final order or judgment that awards relief against it or denies some of the relief it sought (28 U.S.C. §§ 1291 and 1295 and see Forney v. Apfel, 524 U.S. 266, 271 (1998)). An aggrieved party normally also has the right to appeal from certain types of interlocutory (non-final) orders, such as orders granting or denying injunctions (28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)). If an order or judgment is not appealable as of right, an aggrieved party often may petition for permission to appeal (FRAP 5(a) and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1292(b) and 1453(c)(1) and FRCP 23(f)).
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit hears most appeals from federal district courts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas (28 U.S.C. §§ 41 and 1294). This Toolkit contains resources explaining the process for litigating civil appeals in the Fifth Circuit, including:
How to take an appeal.
How to use the Fifth Circuit's case management/electronic case filing ( www.practicallaw.com/0-521-5665) (CM/ECF) system.
What preliminary steps are required before a party can address the merits of the appeal.
How to prepare the appellate briefs and the record excerpts (which contains the relevant portions of the factual record from the district court).
How to make motions, if necessary.
How to present oral argument to the court.
What steps a party may take after the court decides the appeal, such as petitioning for rehearing en banc ( www.practicallaw.com/3-502-7663) .