Supreme Court Holds That Litigant May Appeal Final Judgment in Individual Action That Is Part of Ongoing Consolidated Proceeding

In Gelboim v. Bank of America Corp., 135 S. Ct. 897 (2015), the Supreme Court held that one of multiple cases consolidated for multidistrict litigation under 28 U.S.C. § 1407 is immediately appealable upon an order disposing of that case, regardless of whether any of the other cases remain pending. But the Court declined to answer whether the same rule applies to cases consolidated under Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Hall v. Hall answers that question. 138 S. Ct. 1118 (2018). In a unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court held that civil cases consolidated under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) retain their separate identities, so that a final decision in one case is immediately appealable by the losing party, even if other cases in the consolidated proceeding remain pending. The holding resolves a four-way split among the courts of appeals and provides clear guidance to civil litigants about when they must appeal.

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