After entering judgment on the underlying claims, a federal district court grants the prevailing party’s motion for attorney fees, but does not amend its prior judgment in the case. You represent the potential fees appellant. When does your time to appeal from the attorney-fees order start to run?
Believe it or not, it started to run as soon as the fees order was entered, because under Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(7)(A)(i) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 58(a)(3), no “separate document” was required to trigger the fees appeal clock.
The first appellate case to address the interplay of these rules was Bennett v. City of Holyoke, 362 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2004), where the First Circuit held that the entry of award of attorney fees “started the running of the thirty-day period” for appeal, and no separate judgment was required.