Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

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 never put before the jury, proposed jury instructions on, or sought a special verdict for. Not until its post trial motion did the defendant raise the point. The district court treated the matter as forfeited, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. Judge Easterbrook put it plainly: “A litigant cannot wait until the trial is over and cry ‘Gotcha!'” Sage advice for attorneys caught in the throes of trial preparation.

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.