White Paper

Equitable vs. Constitutional Mootness: The Eleventh Circuit Provides a Primer


Explore the concept and limitations of equitable mootness and distinguish it from the related doctrine of constitutional mootness.

A March 30, 2017 per curiam affirmance by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Beem v. Ferguson (In re Ferguson) does just that. In its analysis, the court distinguished between equitable and constitutional mootness.  Equitable mootness is a discretionary doctrine under which a court may dismiss a bankruptcy appeal when it would be impossible to grant effective relief. In contrast, constitutional mootness derives directly from the “case or controversy” requirement of Article III of the U.S. Constitution.



Mark A. Salzberg

Squire Patton Boggs

Mark Salzberg is a partner in the Washington DC office and a member of the firm’s Restructuring & Insolvency practice group. He focuses his practice on bankruptcy litigation, creditors’ rights, debtor reorganizations and complex commercial litigation. Mark has extensive experience representing debtors, creditors’ committees, financial institutions, secured and unsecured creditors, franchisors and distributors in bankruptcy matters throughout the United States.

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