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Internal Operating Procedures

PDF / Interactive*

Adopted by the Board of Judges January 9, 1992
(Changed September 21, 2016)

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IOP Definitions

Author Judge. The judge responsible for drafting an order, memorandum decision, or opinion of the Court is the author judge.

Board of Judges (BOJ). The BOJ is composed of all judges serving in regular active service.

Case. A case is a matter pending or decided by the Court, based on the context of its use herein.

Central Legal Staff (CLS). The personnel responsible for conferencing with the litigating parties and preparing screening and other memoranda for the Court constitute the CLS.

Clerk. The Clerk is the Clerk of the Court.

Editors. The Editors are the Court's editors, who maintain the Court's Style Manual and review all final decisions of the Court for style and format consistency.

En Banc. All eligible and participating judges serving in regular active service, acting on a matter together, constitute the En Banc Court.

Issuance. Issuance occurs when an action of the Court is posted by the Clerk on the Court's docket.

Judge. A judge is any person appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, to serve on the Court. Except where context indicates otherwise, "Judge" as u sed herein includes a judge serving in regular active service and/or a Senior Judge.

Memorandum Decision. A memorandum decision is a nonprecedential final decision of the Court, issued by a single judge.

Opinion. An opinion is a decision of the Court issued by a panel or en banc. Unless otherwise noted, an opinion is a precedential decision of the Court.

Order. An order is any direction or ruling of the Court.

Order of Precedence. The Chief Judge shall have precedence over the judges of the Court, and the other judges serving in regular active service shall have precedence based on the date of their original commissions. A judge serving in regular active service shall have precedence over a senior judge. Senior judges shall have precedence among the senior judges based on the date of their original commissions.

Panel. A panel consists of multiple judges (usually three, and always at least three), acting on a matter together.

Period of Circulation or Notification. Any period of circulation or notification does not count the first day of the period.

Presiding Judge on a Panel or Senior Judge in the Majority. The judge on a panel having the highest order of precedence is the presiding judge on the panel, and the judge having the highest order of precedence of the judges in the majority is the senior judge in the majority.

Public Office. The personnel responsible for processing cases and assigning them to judges constitute the Public Office.

Published. A decision of the Court is published electronically or hard bound, in accordance with Section VIII of this IOP.

Quorum. A majority of a multiple judge panel constitutes a quorum.

Screening Judge. The judge making the initial review of the case is the screening judge.

Senior Judge. A Senior Judge is a judge serving as a recalled retired judge pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 7257. Note: "Senior Judge" does not refer to status as a presiding or senior judge on a panel.