Jonathan Herstoff Wins Unanimous Decision in U.S. Supreme Court Pro Bono Argument

The Supreme Court today unanimously ruled in favor of Charmaine Hamer, a client of Haug Partners LLP. Ms. Hamer, proceeding pro se, relied upon a district court’s order that granted her an extension of time to appeal, and filed her appeal within the time set by the district court’s order. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit nevertheless dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that the district court’s extension exceeded the maximum time permitted by Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C).

After the Seventh Circuit’s decision was issued, the firm took the case pro bono and petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, where we argued, among other things, that Rule 4(a)(5)(C) cannot implicate a court’s jurisdiction because that time limit does not appear in a statute. After granting certiorari and hearing oral argument on October 10, 2017, the Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Ginsburg, agreed with Ms. Hamer’s argument that Rule 4(a)(5)(C) is nonjurisdictional. The Court therefore vacated the Seventh Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case to the Seventh Circuit for further proceedings.

Ms. Hamer is represented by Jonathan Herstoff of Haug Partners LLP.