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Survey Article


In 2011 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided a number of cases of first impression for the circuit that are of interest to the appellate practitioner. These cases include the following: (1) an appeal addressing whether a severance under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21 is an appealable collateral order; (2) an appeal addressing whether Budinich v. Becton Dickinson & Co. applies in bankruptcy cases; (3) a number of appeals addressing the preservation and presentation of error; and (4) two appeals addressing standards of review.

One of the more interesting cases, however, is not a case of first impression at all, but is instead a case that extensively discusses the rarely invoked "civil plain error rule"-a matter of some interest to the appellate practitioner who is in the unenviable position of having to argue an issue that has not been properly preserved before the district court. This case, In re Lett, is discussed below in Part III of this Article.

Before turning to In re Lett, however, this Article will first discuss the cases of note that raise issues of appellate jurisdiction. Then, after discussing In re Lett, this Article will turn to other noteworthy cases addressing the preservation and presentation of error before closing with the cases that break new ground in the Eleventh Circuit with respect to standards of review.

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