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The Seventh Circuit has issued its annual report for 2021, and once again, the trend is down. The number of appeals filed in 2021 was 2,493, a decrease of 5% from 2020. This cannot be attributed to the pandemic or economic forces alone. Examining the bigger picture, the number has steadily declined over 15 years. For example, there were 3,518 appeals filed in 2006, amounting to a drop of over 1,000 appeals over the last 15 years. The reasons for this decline are numerous, but the most obvious is the concomitant drop in district court filings. The 2021 report provided that in the seven district courts encompassed in the Seventh Circuit, the number of civil cases fell 11.4% and 11.6% for criminal cases in 2021. Simply put, less district court cases, less appellate court filings.

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.