The Daily

Lawyers Who Make Law

If you know a lawyer who took a case knowing that the law was against his or her client, based on a genuine belief that the law was wrong – give them a hug. It is a difficult place to be, investing time and money in the kind of uphill climb it takes to right a wrong and change the law at the same time. I’ve been there, begging a judge to enter the most final order he could imagine against my client – just to get the thing up on appeal without the expense and time of a costly trial.

In Federal court, this noble path just got a little easier, courtesy of the Supreme Court.

In a unanimous decision written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the court overturned precedent from a minority of circuits that required litigants to raise legal issues in a motion for judgment as a matter of law after trial, through Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50. When a “purely legal” issue is resolved at the summary judgment stage, it is preserved for appellate review without a Rule 50 motion, the court said.

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