Supreme Court To Resolve Confusion On Time To Appeal

We previously wrote about the conflicting decisions in U.S. ex rel. Eisenstein v. City of New York and U.S. ex rel. Rodriguez v. Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, which both addressed the question of whether a relator in a False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit in which the government has not intervened has 30 days or 60 days to file an appeal from an adverse decision in a federal district court.  In U.S. ex rel. Eisenstein, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a qui tam relator only has 30 days to appeal, and dismissed an appeal that had been filed more than 30 days (but less than 60 days) after the district court’s decision.  In U.S. ex rel. Rodriguez, the Third Circuit ruled that the longer, 60-day period should apply.  Other Circuit Courts have also considered this issue, and have reached conflicting results.  On January 16, 2009, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for writ of certiorari (also known as a “cert petition”) in U.S. ex rel. Eisenstein.  This means that the Supreme Court will review the decision in U.S. ex rel. Eisenstein, and will finally resolve the conflict among the various Circuit Courts on this issue.  The Supreme Court will likely hear argument in the case this spring, and will issue its decision by this summer.  To read our original piece on U.S. ex rel. Eisenstein, click here.

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