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Survey Article


An appellate court is often characterized by the opinions that it writes. Though an appellate opinion represents a written expression and extension of the judicial personality, it is necessarily dictated in part by the facts of the case. As a result, a court's application of appellate procedure may serve as a better crucible for assembling a judicial portrait and undertaking to study trends and direction. This Article examines recent appellate cases with a view towards understanding appellate direction as well as assisting the practitioner with an overview of appellate procedure in action. The Eleventh Circuit's emphasis on professionalism and on active management of its docket during 1997 is beneficial to both practitioners and parties. Taken in totality, the cases that follow plot a course towards increased accountability that translates into efficient and effective appellate decisionmaking. The phrase "sound judicial administration" appears frequently in 1997 cases, reflecting the court's insistence that litigants and lower courts ease the burden on appellate dockets.

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