Federal Standards Of Review: Review Of District Court Decisions And Agency Actions Second Edition

Decisions of the U. S. courts of appeals invariably are shaped by the applicable standards of review. Most people, if asked what judges do, would say they apply the law to the facts. But there is an important step in between. …

Decisions of the U. S. courts of appeals invariably are shaped by the applicable standards of review. Most people, if asked what judges do, would say they apply the law to the facts. But there is an important step in between. Appellate courts have to decide what the standard of review is, and that standard more often than not determines the outcome of an appeal. This title masterfully explains the standards controlling appellate review of district court decisions and agency actions. Leading practitioners have described the text as “a superb treatment, clear and comprehensive,” of a crucial aspect of every appellate case, which “makes accessible even the most complex doctrines of review. ” Standards of review are critically important in determining the parameters of appellate review and must be given serious attention by anyone who practices in the federal system. This publication examines the key statues and rules defining federal appellate review of district court decision, including 28 U. S. C. § 2111 and the relevant rules of civil and criminal procedure and evidence. It also focuses on the seminal Supreme Court decisions interpreting and applying the relevant statues, rules and standards, while providing an overview of the directions that various circuits have gone on issues not yet definitively resolved by the Supreme Court. Appellate scrutiny of district court decisions varies greatly depending upon whether the de novo, clearly erroneous, abuse of discretion, or plain error standard of review controls. Likewise, the scrutiny with which administrative agency actions are examined depends upon whether the appellate court is constrained by the arbitrary and capricious, substantial evidence, or Chevron Step Two standards of review or engages in de novo review under Chevron Step One. This book gives definition to these various standards. Part One covers appellate court review of district court decisions and Part Two addresses appellate review of administrative agency actions. This publication will well position practitioners to undertake the critical lawyering task of determining precisely how individual challenges to district court decisions or agency actions will be reviewed in any specific circuit.

Federal Courts

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