Case: Nissim, Corp. v. ClearPlay, Inc., No. 2013-1429 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 14, 2014) (non-precedential). On appeal from S.D. Fla. Before Newman, Moore, and Hughes.
Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appealed the district court’s order withdrawing jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement between the parties, and asked the court to review two orders denying summary judgment. CAFC dismissed.
- Summary Judgment Order/Collateral Estoppel: Since a denial of summary judgment because of unresolved issues of fact is not a final judgment, its appeal is generally prohibited. Plaintiff failed to overcome the final judgment rule by arguing the orders are “sufficiently firm” to trigger collateral estoppel. The CAFC found the interlocutory rulings should not be the basis for collateral estoppel because (1) defendant’s counsel conceded that collateral estoppel would not apply in a related case, so defendant could be precluded from adopting a contrary position; (2) it is unlikely a court would find the prerequisites for collateral estoppel satisfied because here, the interlocutory rulings were not necessary to the outcome of the suit; and (3) the CAFC’s determination that the orders denying summary judgment are unreviewable on appeal should preclude application of collateral estoppel.
- Jurisdiction: Plaintiff appealed an order withdrawing jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement between the parties – the only final judgment that could have properly been appealed. The CAFC dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because plaintiff expressly waived its right to challenge the district court’s withdrawal of jurisdiction.