September 30, 2013 Articles

Book Review: Federal Court of Appeals Manual

A required resource for any appellate practitioner.

By Dennis Owens

David G. Knibb
Federal Court of Appeals Manual: A Manual on Practice in the United States Courts of Appeals
Sixth Edition, Thomson Reuters

This book is a classic. You cannot say that about too many appellate practice books. The first edition (1981) was immediately accepted as being highly useful, dependable, practical, and intelligent. It has its own niche. It bridges the gap between a general “how to” book on appeals and the needs of experienced federal appellate practitioners. One feature that sets this manual apart is that Mr. Knibb insists on citing examples of how courts actually apply rules or principles. He writes, “I do not ignore what the courts say, but I am more interested in what they do. Whether it is application of the collateral order doctrine or excusable neglect, I believe the examples are a better guide to what the law really is and where it is headed than any attempts . . . to restate it.”

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