The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process


This article attempts to define the “abuse of discretion” standard of review. The article begins by distinguishing the three types of appellate review. It then focuses on review of discretion. Articles written by Professors Maurice Rosenburg, Robert C. Post, and Judge Henery J. Friendly are next analyzed in order to further evaluate judicial discretionary decisionmaking. Caselaw is next used to discuss how courts have attempted to define and apply the abuse of discretion standard. Primary cases considered include Chevron U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Pierce v. Underwood, Cooter & Gell v. Hartmarx Corp., and Koon v. United States. Finally, practical advice is offered for practitioners facing an unclear standard of review.