Unpublished Appellate Opinions-A Tale of Two Circuits

It's an open secret that most federal appellate courts dispense with their cases via unpublished opinions. The numbers are in for 2022, and to be precise, 86% of federal appellate opinions were unpublished. This published-unpublished distinction is important because an unpublished decision is not precedential, and thus does not create circuit law....

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The Perils of Forfeiture

Federal appellate courts are loathe to address arguments not preserved in the district court. The Seventh Circuit is no different. That position was personified today in the Seventh Circuit's opinion in Sunny Handicraft v. Envision This!, No. 21-1579. Judge Frank Easterbrook, writing for the Court, refused to consider an issue the defendant...

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Podcast Discussion on Law & Crime

I recently had the honor of being invited to speak on a podcast with Adam Klasfeld. As Mr. Klasfeld explains: On the latest episode of Law & Crime’s podcast, “Objections: with Adam Klasfeld,” appellate attorney Christopher Keleher, who also wrote the University of San Francisco Law Review article “The Repercussions of Anonymous...

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Seventh Circuit Win

This week, I won a reversal in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The case, Bradley v. Village of University Park, concerns the constitutional issue of procedural due process. However, this appeal focused on whether the law of the case doctrine and mandate rule applied. This is the second time the case...

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The SAFE-T Act, Stalled, For Now

The Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today Act, commonly known as the SAFE-T Act, is an Illinois statute enacted in 2021 that reforms the criminal justice system. It represents a shift in the approach to policing, pretrial detention, bail, sentencing, and corrections. The law—a lightning rod in the debate over crime and punishment—was...

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The End of An Era

The Honorable William J. Bauer has stepped down from his post as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He served that position since 1974 with fairness, kindness, and wit. He will be missed by both bench and bar. I had the honor of serving as...

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