Appellate Jurisdiction,  Appellate Procedure,  Federal Procedure,  Writ Practice

Surprised by Jurisdiction

It’s hard not to be a pessimist when filing a petition for writ of mandate.  Getting past a summary denial is always tough.  But it’s pretty easy In re Copley Press, case no. 07-72143 (9th Cir. Mar. 4, 2008), where the Ninth holds that it has appellate jurisdiction to review the order.  Thus, the court converts the writ proceedings into an appeal, then decides it on the merits.

The order at issue is an order unsealing documents related to a plea agreement.  The order rather obviously meets both criteria for review under the collateral order doctrine because it “conclusively decides an issue” and “it is effectively unreviewable on appeal from a final judgment,” both for the same reason: once secret documents are made public, there’s no going back.