It seems that few are pleased with the Court’s recent decision in Bowles v. Russell, in which the Court held the time limit for filing a notice of appeal to be jurisdictional and therefore not susceptible to the unique circumstances doctrine. As I wrote in this original essay, I believe the Court disrupted prior precedent and missed a golden opportunity to develop, in a principled way, a framework for characterizing rules as jurisdictional or not, and I adhere to those views. Three have responded to my essay. Professor Beth Burch criticizes Bowles for some of the same reasons I do, but she goes further to suggest that the Court (and I) failed to give sufficient recognition to the equity appeal of the case. Professor Perry Dane criticizes Bowles for failing to appreciate that jurisdictional rules—assuming the deadline to file a notice of appeal is in fact jurisdictional—need not lead inexorably to a rigid application. Only Mr. E. King Poor, Esq. defends Bowles as rightly decided and also as a good result. This paper sets out a reply to those who have joined me in this debate.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Information

102 Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy 228-238 (2008)