Using the Court of Appeals as a Crystal Ball

“Don’t do it” is the friendly advice from the Ninth in Global Horizons, Inc. v. U. S. Dept. of Labor, case no. 07-15116 (9th Cir. Dec. 13, 2007).  At the  end of its opinion affirming the denial of a preliminary injunction, the court notes that the appellant, Global Horizons, would have been better off pressing on with its permanent injunction claim while the appeal was pending rather than dragging its feet in the district court while hoping to get the Ninth Circuit’s views on the merits of the case:

Finally, we recognize that in the eleven months since Global Horizons filed the present appeal, the company has taken very few steps to move its application for permanent injunction forward in the district court. . . .  Twenty-five years ago in Sports Form, we admonished parties for appealing a preliminary injunction “in order to ascertain the views of the appellate court on the merits of the litigation.” 686 F.2d at 753. We repeat our concern. Because of our limited scope of review and the paucity of the factual record on a preliminary injunction application, our disposition “may provide little guidance as to the appropriate disposition on the merits” and will often “result in unnecessary delay to the parties and inefficient use of judicial resources.” Id. Given the purported urgency of Global Horizons’ claims, the company would have been better served to pursue aggressively its permanent injunction claim in the district court, rather than apparently awaiting the outcome of this appeal.