Our experience includes:
- Ongoing consultation during trial to ensure that issues are not foreclosed on appeal
- Assessing cases and evaluating issues for appeal
- Taking and defending appeals as of right
- Preparing petitions for discretionary review
- Preparing petitions for extraordinary relief, including writs of mandamus and supervisory orders
- Drafting post-trial motions, often necessary to preserve certain issues
- Drafting summary judgment motions, particularly concerning issues of first impression
- Litigating interlocutory appeals, including to ensure that arbitration agreements are enforced and that court cases are litigated in the proper state or county
- “Rescue” litigation for trial and appellate crises
- Amicus curiae briefs
- Administrative appeals
Our appellate litigation clients range from multinational public companies to small, closely-held businesses and individuals, and from industry groups to governmental and nonprofit organizations. We represent clients in industries as varied as pharmaceuticals, utilities, insurance, banking and finance, education, professional sports and real estate.
Major Appellate Cases
- In litigation arising from the September 11 terrorist attacks, saved a governmental agency from multimillion-dollar environmental liability by establishing that the attacks were an “act of war” that negated any indemnification obligation to developer. In re September 11 Litigation: Cedar & Washington Associates, LLC, v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey et al., ___F.3d ___ (2d Cir. May 2, 2014)
- Following a state supreme court’s decision to retroactively expand insurers’ liability for claims arising from accidents with uninsured motorists, persuaded the court to sharply limit retroactivity. Whelan v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 329 P. 3d 646 (NM 2014)
- In litigation arising from a high-profile airline crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo, successfully defended insurer’s choice of a Georgia forum to hear claims that policy should be rescinded for misrepresentations in the insurance application. Lima Delta Company, et al. v. Global Aerospace, Inc., 325 Ga. App. 76, 752 S.E.2d 135 (Ga. App. 2013).
- Led the successful, multiyear effort against personal injury plaintiffs’ attempts to expand tort liability under a civil conspiracy theory, ensuring that solvent defendants were not unfairly shouldered with damages caused by bankrupt entities. McClure v. Owens Corning Fiberglas Corp., 720 NE 2d 242 (Ill. 1999); Gillenwater v. Honeywell Intern., Inc., 996 NE 2d 1179 (Ill. 4th Dist. 2013)
- With billions of dollars in potential insurance coverage on the line, persuaded the Virginia Supreme Court that CGL policies did not cover claims asserting that the energy industry was responsible for damages flowing from global climate change. The AES Corporation v. Steadfast Insurance Company, 283 Va. 609, 725 S.E.2d 532 (Va. 2012).
- Successfully fought the expansion of mail fraud liability for breaches of fiduciary duty, from the trial court through to the United States Supreme Court, leading to clearer standards for corporate fiduciaries and to the exoneration of a former general counsel of a public company on criminal charges. Black v. United States, 561 US 465 (2010); United States v. Black, 625 F. 3d 386 (7th Cir. 2010)
- Persuaded the United States Supreme Court to set aside a punitive-damages award against a glass manufacturer and then persuaded the Oregon Court of Appeals for the first time to reduce such an award. Anchor Hocking, Inc. v. Waddill, 538 U.S. 974 (2003)); Waddill v. Anchor Hocking, Inc., 190 Or. App. 172 (Or. App. 2003).