Bankers Trust Company v. Mallis
In Bankers Trust Company v. Mallis, 435 U.S. 381 , 98 S. Ct. 1117 (1978), the Supreme Court concluded that a district court's decision can be a final decision for purposes of appellate jurisdiction despite the absence of a separate judgment. See id. at 383, 98 S. Ct. at 1119.
The Court noted that the purpose of the separatedocument requirement was to clarify when the time for appeal begins to run and that "certainty as to timeliness ... is not advanced by holding that appellate jurisdiction does not exist absent a separate judgment." Id. at 384-85, 98 S. Ct. at 1120.
The Court found that the parties waived the separate judgment requirement where 1) the district court evidenced its intent that the opinion from which the appeal was taken represent the final decision in the case, 2) a judgment of dismissal was recorded in the clerk's docket, and 3) the appellee did not object to the taking of the appeal in the absence of a separate document. See id. at 387-88, 98 S. Ct. at 1121.
Thus, the Court held that the court of appeals had properly assumed appellate jurisdiction notwithstanding the fact that a separate judgment pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 58 had never been entered.