En Banc Activity / Opinions

Opinion Summary – Rudisill v. McDonough

Last week, the Federal Circuit decided Rudisill v. McDonough, a veterans case we have been following since the court scheduled an en banc hearing. The case presents the question of the relationship between the education benefits in the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and in particular whether veterans such as Mr. Rudisill with two or more periods of qualifying military service are entitled to 48 months of benefits. The court issued a majority opinion reversing the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, which had held that veterans are entitled to 48 months of benefits when they have multiple periods of qualifying service. According to the Federal Circuit, these veterans are entitled to a maximum of 36 months of benefits. Two judges, however, issued dissenting opinions agreeing with the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Here is our summary of the court’s opinions.

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En Banc Activity / Petitions

Recent En Banc Activity

Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. The en banc court issued a long-awaited opinion last week in a veterans case addressing the question of a veteran’s statutory entitlement to education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. As for petitions in patent cases, the court invited a response to a petition raising a question related to the written description requirement and received two amicus briefs supporting rehearing in the same case. Here are the details.

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Opinions

Opinions & Orders – December 15, 2022

This morning the Federal Circuit released a precedential en banc opinion in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In the court’s majority opinion, the Federal Circuit reversed, holding that a statute limiting educational assistance applies to veterans with multiple periods of service. Notably, both Judge Newman and Judge Reyna filed separate dissenting opinions. The Federal Circuit also released five nonprecedential opinions today. One comes in a case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims; one comes in a veterans case appealed from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; and three come in patent cases appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Finally, the court released three nonprecedential orders. Two dismiss appeals, and one grants motions to sever claims and transfer remaining claims to the District of Colorado. Here are the introductions to the opinions, text from the order granting the motions, and links to the dismissals.

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Argument Recap / En Banc Activity / Featured

Argument Recap – Rudisill v. McDonough

Last week, the Federal Circuit heard oral argument in Rudisill v. McDonough, an en banc veterans benefits case. In it, VA appeals the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims determination that Rudisill qualified for Post-9/11 benefits under both the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills. The en banc court agreed to consider two related questions: (1) “for a veteran who qualifies for the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill under a separate period of qualifying service, what is the veteran’s statutory entitlement to education benefits;” and (2) “what is the relation between the 48-month entitlement in 38 U.S.C. § 3695(a), and the 36-month entitlement in § 3327(d)(2), as applied to veterans such as Mr. Rudisill with two or more periods of qualifying military service?” This is our argument recap.

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Court Week / En Banc Activity

Court Week – What You Need to Know

This week is Court Week at the Federal Circuit, with hearings starting today. The Federal Circuit is providing access to live audio of each panel scheduled for argument via the Federal Circuit’s YouTube channel. In total, the court will convene nine panels to consider 45 cases. Of these 45 cases, the court will hear oral arguments in 27. Of these argued cases, one case—an en banc case—attracted any amicus briefs. Here’s what you need to know about this case.

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Argument Preview / En Banc Activity

Argument Preview – Rudisill v. McDonough

Next week, in an en banc session, the Federal Circuit will hear arguments in Rudisill v. McDonough, a veterans case. The court will consider the question of a veteran’s statutory entitlement to education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In particular, the court will consider two related questions: (1) “for a veteran who qualifies for the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill under a separate period of qualifying service, what is the veteran’s statutory entitlement to education benefits;” and (2) “what is the relation between the 48-month entitlement in 38 U.S.C. § 3695(a), and the 36-month entitlement in § 3327(d)(2), as applied to veterans such as Mr. Rudisill with two or more periods of qualifying military service?” This is our argument preview.

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En Banc Activity / Petitions

Recent En Banc Activity

Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. In a pending en banc veterans case, the government filed its en banc reply brief. The court also received a new petition in a case raising a question related to the written description requirement. Here are the details.

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En Banc Activity / Petitions

Recent En Banc Activity

Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. In a pending en banc veterans case, the court received two amicus briefs in support of the appellee, a veteran. The court also received two new petitions raising questions related to obviousness-based inherency of claims, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, and the grounds for inter partes review proceedings. Finally, the court denied two petitions for rehearing en banc raising questions related to means-plus-function limitations. Here are the details.

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En Banc Activity / Petitions

Recent En Banc Activity

Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. The court sua sponte granted en banc consideration in a case appealed from the Court of Federal Claims. In another pending en banc veterans case, the veteran filed his en banc response brief, and the Federal Circuit scheduled the case for oral argument in October. The court also received a new petition raising questions related to the court’s grant of a petition for a writ of mandamus to order transfer of a patent case from the Western District of Texas to the Northern District of California. Here are the details.

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En Banc Activity / Petitions

Recent En Banc Activity

Here is an update on recent en banc activity at the Federal Circuit. In a pending en banc veterans case, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs filed the government’s opening brief. As for pending petitions, the United States motioned for limited remand in a case raising questions related to the Appointments Clause; the court invited responses to two petitions raising questions related to means-plus-function limitations in patent claims; the court received a response to a petition raising questions related to the scope of usable prior art in inter partes review proceedings; and the court received an amicus brief supporting rehearing in one of the petitions raising questions related to means-plus-function limitations. Here are the details.

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