Death-Knell Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Death-Knell doctrine is a rule that allows an interlocutory appeal to filed in cases where not allowing the appeal until final judgment would moot the issue on appeal and cause irreparably injury to the appellant's rights. This was recognized as an exception to the final-judgment rule but the doctrine was later limited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Coopers & Lybrand v. Livesay, 437 U.S. 463 (U.S. 1978) where the court held that the fact that an interlocutory order might induce a party to abandon his claim before final judgment was not a sufficient reason for considering it a "final decision." However the doctrine is still applicable in some contexts. For example, the doctrine allows an immediate appeal of the denial of a temporary restraining order when the lack of an appeal would leave nothing to be considered in the trial court. [Woratzeck v. Arizona Bd. of Exec. Clemency, 117 F.3d 400 (9th Cir. Ariz. 1997)]