Friday, January 25, 2013

Strict Compliance

The Second Circuit overturned a District Court decision that allowed a party to file a late notice of appeal.  The ECF staff had failed to update the party's attorney's e-mail address and, accordingly, the party did not receive notice of entry of a judgment against his client.  The District Court held that this was excusable neglect, warranting an opportunity to file a late notice.  The Second Circuit reversed.

The Court noted that it was the responsibility of the attorney to update the system in the ECF system and not the responsibility of the ECF stafff.  Hence, the failure to receive notice was solely the fault of the attorney, and the District Court has abused its discretion in extending the party's time to file a notice of appeal.

Judge Lynch dissented from the decision, stating the the Court should have deferred to the judgment of the District Court.

The decision in In re Worldcom, Inc. (Communications Network International, Ltd. v. MCI WorldCom Communications can be found here.

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