On March 16, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Monroe v. United States, an Equal Access to Justice Act case we have been following because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal from the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States asked the Federal Circuit to overrule what it characterized as an abuse of discretion by the trial court in ordering it to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and expenses. Monroe, for his part, maintained he “prevailed at each procedural stage of the litigation” and, as result, “a fully compensatory fee award was warranted.” The National Veterans Legal Services Program filed an amicus brief in support of Monroe. The Federal Circuit, however, agreed with the government and reversed the Court of Federal Claims. This is our opinion summary.
Update On Important Panel Activity
Here is this month’s update on activity in cases pending before panels of the Federal Circuit where the cases involve at least one amicus brief. We keep track of these cases in the “Other Cases” section of our blog. Today, with respect to these cases we highlight three opinions: the first in an Equal Access to Justice Act case, the second granting petitions seeking writs of mandamus challenging orders of the Western District of Texas regarding transfer motions, and the third in a trademark case. We also highlight a response brief filed in a patent case. Here are the details.
Opinions & Orders – March 16, 2022
This morning the Federal Circuit issued a precedential order in a patent case denying panel rehearing and rehearing en banc. Notably, Judge Lourie dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc, and his opinion was joined by Chief Judge Moore and Judge Newman. In the dissenting judges’ view, the panel decision confused patent law’s written description requirement. In addition to this order, the court also issued a nonprecedential opinion in a case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims concerning attorneys’ fees. Finally, late yesterday the court issued a nonprecedential order concerning a voluntary dismissal. Here are the introductions to the order and opinions.
Argument Recap – Monroe v. United States
This past Tuesday, the court heard oral argument in Monroe v. United States, an appeal from the United States Court of Federal Claims. We have been following this Equal Access to Justice Act case because it attracted an amicus brief. On appeal, the United States asks the Federal Circuit to overrule what it characterizes as an abuse of discretion by the trial court in awarding attorney’s fees and expenses to the plaintiff-appellee. Monroe contends he “prevailed at each procedural stage of the litigation” and, as result, “a fully compensatory fee award was warranted.” The arguments regarding the award of fees and expenses in an EAJA action attracted an amicus brief in support of Monroe. Judges Moore and Chen heard Tuesday’s argument. Judge Clevenger was assigned to this panel, but he was not present for the argument. This is our argument recap.
Court Week – What You Need to Know
This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit, with hearings starting today. Arguments are being held in person absent granted motions for leave to appear remotely, and the Federal Circuit is also providing access to live audio of each panel scheduled for argument via the Federal Circuit’s YouTube channel. In total, the court will convene 14 panels to consider about 59 cases. Of these 59 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 52. Of these argued cases, three attracted amicus briefs: an Equal Access to Justice Act case, a trademark case, and a tax case. Here’s what you need to know about these three cases.
Argument Preview – Monroe v. United States
This week we are previewing three cases scheduled to be argued next week at the Federal Circuit that attracted amicus briefs. Today we highlight an Equal Access to Justice Act case, Monroe v. United States. In this case, the United States asks the Federal Circuit to overrule what it characterizes as an abuse of discretion by the trial court in awarding attorney’s fees and expenses to the plaintiff-appellee. This is our argument preview.