Can’t Appeal Your Own Consent.

It is a truth acknowledged among all lawyers: the more obvious the point, the harder it is to find a good cite.

For a long time, I could not find authority for the obvious proposition: you can’t appeal a consent order.

You might ask: “Why would you want a case for thaaaat?! Who’d be simple enough to appeal a consent order?”

Oddly, people appeal consent orders with decent regularity. I do not know why that is. Maybe the clients find themselves consenting in court to all sorts of things they later come to regret. Courts are disorienting that way. Whatever the reason, it happens. A lot. You can use a cite.

First time it happened to me was around 2012. We signed a consent order. Shortly after, my client’s ex appealed. In due course, Judge Bryant set her straight, my office popped a bottle of kvas, and I forgot all about appeals of consent orders. Until this week.

Which brings me to my point: in a two-page unpublished opinion, Judge Bryant says it again: “Can’t appeal a consent order.” The opinion is unpublished, but in every other respect, it is perfect: two pages with no side issues. Should anybody in your life decide to appeal a consent order, it is a good cite: Young v. Young, CoA 15-1126 (17 May 2016). Use it. Judge Bryant’s clerks maybe could use a break?

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