This short essay for Northwestern University Law Review's Colloquy seeks to rationalize the "extraordinary circumstances" doctrine of Rue 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The usual rule is that a movant for Rule 60(b)(6) relief must show extraordinary circumstances for that relief. Under the Ackermann rule (so named after the Supreme Court decision that spawned it), courts have held that any extraordinary circumstances cannot have been caused by the movant's own litigation conduct. I argue that the Ackermann rule, at its broadest, would be unjust to those litigants most in need of Rule 60(b)(6) relief and would overserve finality interests. I propose, instead, that the Ackermann rule apply more narrowly: only to movants who have intentionally abandoned their litigation.
106 Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy 111-119 (2011)
Dodson, Scott, "Rethinking Extraordinary Circumstances" (2011). Faculty Publications. 1186.