Emory Law Journal

ELJ OnlineVolume 68
Essays

Hall v. Hall: A Lose-Lose Case for Appellate Jurisdiction

Bryan Lammon | 68 Emory L.J. Online 1001 (2018)

In Hall v. Hall, the Supreme Court held that the resolution of a single action consolidated with other actions is a “final decision”—and thus immediately appealable—regardless of whether the other actions remain pending. But in deciding Hall, the Court had no good options. Like so many of its other decisions on appellate jurisdiction, the Court had to choose between a straightforward but pragmatically unsound rule (the option it ultimately took) or a pragmatic rule that would add to the confusion that already exists in matters of appellate jurisdiction. Hall was thus a classic lose-lose scenario. But Hall also illustrates the path forward: rulemaking. The federal courts alone cannot resolve the many issues that vex federal appellate jurisdiction. The Rules Committee must step in to reform this area of law.

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Title VII and the #MeToo Movement

Rebecca Hanner White | 68 Emory L.J. Online 1014 (2018)

The #MeToo movement has drawn unprecedented attention to sexual harassment in the workplace. But there is a disconnect between sexual harassment as popularly understood and sexual harassment as prohibited by Title VII. This Essay identifies those areas where the law and the public understanding of it most starkly diverge. Additionally, as this Essay describes, those who are retaliated against for making claims of sexual harassment often fare poorly after stepping forward; many complaints concern conduct that has not yet reached the requisite level of severity or pervasiveness, and thus are found unprotected. This Essay identifies where the #MeToo movement, to the extent it reflects societal understanding of what the law should be, may impact judges’ and juries’ application of governing legal standards. The law often evolves in response to changing social norms, and the #MeToo movement, in ways this Essay describes, has the opportunity to effect this evolution in the law’s approach to on-the-job sexual harassment.

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