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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Federal Appeals Courts with Strange Names and Jurisdictions

There are thirteen federal appeals courts in the United States of America. Eleven of them are numbered.

First Circuit- Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.
Second Circuit- 
Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.
Third Circuit- Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virgin Islands.
Fourth Circuit-Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Fifth Circuit- Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Sixth Circuit- Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Seventh Circuit- Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
Eighth Circuit- Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Ninth Circuit- Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, and Hawaii.
Tenth Circuit- Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.
Eleventh Circuit- Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

One of the others is the court of appeals for the District of Columbia. It covers the smallest geographical area of them all: 61 square miles. It's certainly the area with the most federal litigation. the appellate jurisdiction over the district courts of Washington City.

There is a court of appeals for the armed forces to review courts-martial.

Another unnumbered court of appeals covers the largest geographical area-- pretty much the full range of America's territorial jurisdiction.
  • of an appeal from a final decision of a district court  in any civil action arising under, or in any civil action in which a party has asserted a compulsory counterclaim arising under, any Act of Congress relating to patents or plant variety protection;
  • certain tax judgments;
  • of an appeal from a final decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims;
  • of an appeal from a decision of--
  • the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to certain patent applications, derivation proceeding, reexamination, post-grant review, or inter partes reviews;
  • the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office or the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board with respect to applications for registration of marks and other proceedings or
  • a district court as to which a patent case was directed pursuant to certain statutes;
  • of an appeal from a final decision of the United States Court of International Trade;
  • to review the final determinations of the United States International Trade Commission relating to certain unfair practices in import trade;to review, by appeal on questions of law only, findings of the Secretary of Commerce under U.S. note 6 to subchapter X of chapter 98 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (relating to importation of instruments or apparatus);
  • of an appeal under section 71 of the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 2461);
  • of an appeal from a final order or final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board, pursuant to sections 7703(b)(1) and 7703(d) of title 5;
  • of an appeal from a final decision of an agency board of contract appeals pursuant to section 7107(a)(1) of title 41;
  • of an appeal under section 211 of the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970;
  • of an appeal under section 5 of the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973;
  • of a appeal under section 506(c) of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978; and
  • of an appeal under section 523 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
  • any final decision rendered by a board of contract appeals pursuant to the terms of any contract with the United States awarded by that department or agency which the head of such department or agency has concluded is not entitled to finality pursuant to the review standards specified in section 7107(b) of title 41. The head of each executive department or agency shall make any referral under this section within one hundred and twenty days after the receipt of a copy of the final appeal decision.
These are pretty well the federal forums for appellate lawyers.


  1. Hi Bob, I like your blog. But I couldn't post a comment. I was trying to comment on your federal courts entry: Also there is the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces which reviews court-martial convictions of servicemembers. http://www.armfor.uscourts.gov/newcaaf/home.htm Terri R. Zimmermann Houston Also in the TCDLA directory there appears to be a typo or incorrect website addr as for you. Hard to contact ya! Just wanted you to know.

  2. Corrected the website address error, though the website is still down. You are right about the Court of Appeals for the Armed Services. I forgot about that one.