Case Caption: Hani Khalil v. Guardian Insurance CompanyCase Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2013-0030Date: 10/07/2013Author: Per CuriamCitation: Summary:

An appellant, who failed to pursue an appeal that was previously commenced after a July 2012 summary judgment entered against him in an insurance dispute, cannot challenge that judgment in an appeal from April 2013 orders awarding attorney's fees and prejudgment interest against him. The present notice of appeal, and an amended notice, only identified the 2013 orders as the rulings being appealed, but the appellant devotes the entirety of his brief to challenging the 2012 judgment. Post-judgment proceedings do not change the date of the original final judgment unless a statute or court rule tolls the time to file a notice of appeal. The appellant cannot not use appeal of the attorney's fee judgment as a means to challenge the underlying judgment on the merits. Under V.I.S.CT.R. 5(a)(4), which identifies the motions filed in a civil case that extend the time for filing a notice of appeal, motions for recovery of attorney's fees and prejudgment interest do not toll the time to appeal an otherwise final judgment. By failing to prosecute his prior appeal, the appellant waived his right to have direct review the summary judgment award. To allow appeal of the April 2013 fee and interest orders as a mechanism, in effect, to disregard the earlier dismissal would be contrary to long-established appellate practices. And since the appellant failed to brief the only issues that he could properly raise as part of the present appeal, the April 2013 orders are summarily affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion