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Appellate Section

Yosemite National Park
Photo by ENRD
Lake Tahoe at Sunset
Photo by ENRD
Hiking in Haleakala National Park
Photo by ENRD
Drum, Crow Fair
Photo by ENRD
Columbia River Dam
Photo by ENRD
Crater Lake
Photo by ENRD

About the Section

The Appellate Section represents the federal government in federal and State appellate courts in cases arising under the more than 200 statutes for which the Division has litigation responsibility. ENRD is responsible for appeals in all cases handled by an ENRD Section in the trial courts. For cases arising under statutes for which the Division has litigation responsibility that were handled in the trial court by a U.S. Attorney's Office, the Section either handles any appeal directly or coordinates with the U.S. Attorney's Office. In addition, the Appellate Section has responsibility for certain petitions for review filed directly in the courts of appeals that seek review of decisions of agencies such as the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Surface Transportation Board.

The Appellate Section works closely with the Office of the Solicitor General in determining whether to appeal adverse district court decisions, to seek further review of adverse court of appeals decisions, and to participate as amicus curiae in federal and State appellate courts and the Supreme Court. The Section provides the Office of the Solicitor General with initial drafts of briefs filed in the Supreme Court in Division cases handled by the Appellate Section

The Appellate Section was one of the original six sections created when the “Lands Division,” as it was then called, was divided into sections in 1937.

Meet the Section Chief


Jennifer Scheller Neumann
Section Chief

Email the Division

Environment and Natural Resources Division seal
What We Do
  • Zealously represent the interests of the United States by briefing and arguing appeals to the highest professional and ethical standards in all thirteen federal circuit courts of appeal, state courts of appeal, and state supreme courts.
  • Coordinate with other Sections, other interested Justice Department components, U.S. Attorney's Offices, and federal agency partners to clearly and faithfully present the federal government’s position and the relevant history to the appellate courts.
  • Work closely with the Office of the Solicitor General to make thoughtful decisions about when it is in the United States’ best interest to seek appellate or Supreme Court review of adverse decisions, or to participate as amicus curiae on a matter to which the United States is not a party.
By the Numbers
Statutes Under Which the Section Litigates
Federal Courts of Appeal and Multiple State Courts of Appeal
Year the Section was Founded