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Appealable Orders

Final orders of a federal district court are appealable to the Court of Appeals the same way as in other civil cases.  In Petroleos Mexicanos Refinacion v. M/T King A (EX-TBILISI), 377 F.3d 329 (3d Cir. N.J. 2004), the court held that an appeal lies only from a “final decision.”  Usually, a decision is not final unless it ends the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the court to do but execute the judgment.  The denial of a motion to dismiss does not end the litigation and ordinarily is not a final order.

Similar to a regular civil case, in admiralty a decision as to one party can be certified as final even where other parties’ claims against each other have not been finally determined.  However, it does not supersede the right to appeal according to the rules governing interlocutory orders.  For appealing an interlocutory order, a certificate is not necessary.  If an appeal is filed as a final order adjudicating fewer than all of the claims of all of the parties, certification is necessary.  An interlocutory order may be appealed immediately, provided that it conclusively determines the merits of a particular claim or defense.

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