Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

“Zombie” Remands: a Peculiarly Appellate Monster

October 2021 Bar Bulletin

By Catherine W. Smith

With Halloween fast approaching, this column is devoted to that peculiarly appellate monster: the “zombie” remand.

A remand, of course, is often the result a successful appellant is looking for. If the appellate court reverses, some sort of “do-over” is often required in the trial court. For instance, when a case is improperly decided on summary judgment, remand for trial will be necessary. If a case has gone to verdict, but the jury was improperly instructed, the appellate court will remand for a new trial before a properly instructed jury. And if a trial court’s discretionary decision is reversed because it was based...

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