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A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit highlights the imperative nature of attaching an appendix that adheres to the federal rules of appellate procedure. While federal appellate courts across the country enforce the appendix requirement, the Seventh Circuit is a stickler. The case, United States v. Harold McGhee, No. 23-1615 involved Harold McGhee, convicted and sentenced for drug trafficking after law enforcement received intel from a confidential source regarding his cocaine distribution. McGhee’s appeal of the conviction faltered largely for disregarding federal appellate procedure. The Seventh Circuit found that out of the 10 issues McGhee raised, six of them failed because they were waived, moot, or unsupported. The Court also noted McGhee’s attorney failed to comply with the Circuit Rules governing appendices to briefs. The appendix failed to contain the relevant docket entries and the district court’s rulings supporting the appellate arguments. The Court declined to impose a fine, but admonished counsel, and reminded the bar, to follow Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 30 and Seventh Circuit Rule 30.

About the Author
Christopher Keleher clerked for the Hon. William J. Bauer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  This unique opportunity provided Mr. Keleher with an invaluable understanding of the inner workings of an appellate court.  He saw what persuades judges and what does not, and utilizes this knowledge every time he writes an appellate brief. The Keleher Appellate Law Group handles all phases of appellate litigation in federal and state courts across the country. Read more here.