On June 14, 2007, the Supreme Court decided Bowles v. Russell, a case watched primarily by procedure geeks but one which may have enormous impact for courts and litigators. It addressed a ubiquitous but confusing question of jurisdictional characterization: when is a limitation “jurisdictional,” and when is it not? Litigators encounter these questions all the time in statutory coverage issues, in time limitations, and in a host of other preconditions. Whether a particular limitation is jurisdictional or not can be an important question, for jurisdictional limitations are not subject to waiver or equitable exceptions, may be raised at any time, and obligate courts to monitor and raise them sua sponte. In Bowles, the Court held that the statutory time limitation for filing a notice of appeal is jurisdictional.

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102 Northwest University Law Review Colloquy 42-48 (2007)

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Jurisdiction Commons