I was discussing OXY USA Inc. v. Schell with a friend, and he came up with this puzzle:
Supposing Company A is facing a lawsuit, has received a judgment against them in a district court, and has filed an appeal. During this time, Company A is also looking to sell the relevant business and associated liabilities to Company B, but Company B insists on an unusual term of sale: should the appeals court dismiss Company A's appeal of the district court's judgment as moot, the sale shall be void. Company B does not intervene in the case.
Now, plaintiffs, pointing to the sale of the business to Company B, move to dismiss Company A's appeal as moot. The appeals court faces the following problem:
Should the appeals court grant the appeal, Company B will have no stake in the outcome, and so the appellate decision will be purely advisory. On the other hand, should the appeals court dismiss the appeal as moot, Company B will in fact incur liability for the judgment and thus will have a stake in the outcome.
How do courts deal with self-referential situations like this that create paradoxes?