Newman, J., Dissenting: Another Vision of the Federal Circuit

by Blake R. Hartz, Woodard, Emhardt, Moriarty, McNett & Henry LLP (Indianapolis, IN)

from Volume 3, Issue 1 (Fall 2012)

Download this Article in PDF format from The Jerome Hall Law Library’s Digital Repository.

Abstract: This Essay examines how, to some, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has gone astray. While the wisdom of various aspects of the Federal Circuit has been questioned in recent years by commentators, relatively little attention has been paid to some of the most common and constant criticism: the dissenting opinions of Judge Pauline Newman. Examining the dissenting opinions of Judge Newman provides an alternative viewpoint of the Federal Circuit and how it has (at least according to one) erred. Part I discusses the reasons for selecting Judge Newman for the leading role. Part II examines the role of dissenting opinions in general and in particular at the Federal Circuit. Part III provides an empirical overview of Judge Newman’s prodigious collection of dissents before addressing some doctrinal areas where her view of the law departs from that of the larger body of Federal Circuit judges. Part IV describes how Judge Newman’s dissenting jurisprudence may be reinvoked in the future at the Federal Circuit.