For many years, George E. Hutchinson, the first clerk of the Federal Circuit, told the story that on the first day of the court’s existence, Friday, October 1, 1982, a young lawyer from Chicago showed up bright and early at his office and filed an emergency motion for a stay pending appeal—even before the judges of the court had been sworn in.
Just over thirty-two years after the oral argument in that first appeal, I became the last counsel of record who can give a first-person account of the oral argument and the case, and therefore I take this opportunity to tell the story. This was appeal no. 83-500, The Magnavox Co. v. Mattel, Inc., the first appeal from the district court filed in the Federal Circuit. The public knows nothing about it because no opinion was released—the parties reached a settlement literally on the eve of an opinion being published.
The article is by Edward D. Manzo, and you can look it up in The Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1.