Our appellate litigation team is dedicated to insuring that our clients prevail on appeals. Our appellate attorneys provide a unique combination of skills and experience. Most of us have extensive experience in both trial and appellate court litigation in federal and state courts. We also have unparalleled substantive experience in key areas of our overall practice. Litigation experience at all levels, combined with deep substantive expertise, allow us to handle appeals efficiently, bringing both quality and economy to the process. And, because appellate work is generally less dependent on counsel having local court and community ties, we are able to handle appeals in all jurisdictions.
We approach appeals not merely as cases to win, but primarily as opportunities to help clients solve the underlying problems that precipitated the litigation in the first place. After judgments or other appealable orders are entered, we work closely with clients to evaluate the prospects and risks on appeal and to cost-assess the wisdom of appealing. We help explore possible resolutions by settlement, utilizing appellate mediation programs where appropriate.
If the appeal goes forward, we work with our clients and the trial lawyers to develop an appeal strategy. If we represent the appellant, we carefully consider what issues should be brought to the appellate court’s attention, how to frame the precise questions on appeal, and how the issues should be presented in the briefs and at oral argument. If we represent the respondent, we carefully consider what issues can be eliminated because they were not preserved at trial. We take great care in drafting briefs and other court filings, and in preparing for oral arguments, to ensure that our position is clear, concise, persuasive and helpful to the court. We welcome and encourage client participation in brief preparation and moot courts for the advocate-attorney.
Appellate work requires sharp focus, good writing skills, and effective oral advocacy. Our appellate lawyers combine each of those traits.
Our appellate experience and accomplishments include:
- U.S. Supreme Court: DWT lawyers have argued landmark cases before the United States Supreme Court involving search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment, and discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment. We have also filed numerous amicus briefs before the United States Supreme Court.
- Federal and State Appellate Courts: We have also handled numerous appeals before every federal circuit court of appeals and before the appellate courts in a substantial number of states and the District of Columbia.
- Trial expertise: Most of our appellate attorneys also have extensive experience representing clients at the trial and administrative levels. Our “hands on” experience actually trying cases gives us a unique understanding of what happens at the trial court or administrative agency levels that many appellate lawyers do not have.
- Experience as Judicial Clerks: Many attorneys on our appellate team have served as law clerks for appellate court judges at the federal and state levels. This behind-the-scenes experience provides invaluable insight to crafting cogent legal arguments that cut to the core of what will likely interest judges or justices at the appellate level.
- Appellate community involvement: Many of our appellate lawyers serve on leading bench/bar committees in their jurisdictions, alongside appellate judges and court administrators. That involvement, combined with frequent appearances before appellate court judges in particular jurisdictions, gives our lawyers valuable insights into the judges, their stylistic procedures and their views.
We handle appeals in areas including:
- Class action defense
- Commercial disputes
- Communications law
- Constitutional law
- Criminal defense
- Employment and labor
- False advertising
- Health care
- Insurance coverage
- Intellectual property
- Land use
- Media law
- Real property
If you are faced with an appeal, come talk to us about it. You will find substantive skills and a desire to collaborate with clients to reach the best result possible that we believe is unparalleled in the legal profession.