Appellate Law


Contributed by Sidley Austin LLP

Appellate Law: Nationwide 

The art of translation involves capturing the complexity and nuance of the foreign work and presenting it in a way that it is logical and sensible to the audience’s ear. The art of storytelling is closely related; in many respects, it is the art of translation across time. It involves taking the events of the past, distinguishing between illuminating and cluttering detail, and bringing the narrative to life in a way that is relevant and meaningful to the present.

Appellate counsel are often asked to play the role of “translators”. That is particularly true in cases involving the kinds of complex and technical subject matters that have recently dominated the Supreme Court’s docket, such as cases involving patent litigation or environmental regulation. Appellate counsel may not have a degree in electrical engineering or environmental science, but for a translator, that may be an advantage. The ultimate decision-makers – Supreme Court Justices and Court of Appeals judges – typically are not patent specialists or scientists either. They, too, are general practitioners. Appellate counsel make a distinctive contribution when they translate complex, technical, and often jargon-laden subject matter into a language and framework that the judges will grasp and understand, and recognize requires the result the client seeks.

Indeed, most business cases are “complex” in their own way, when one digs into the historical facts and the twists and turns of the proceedings below. An appellate court, however, comes into the case without any of that background and cares more about the result and its implications – i.e., the moral of the story – than the nitty-gritty, day-to-day drama that unfolded below. Thus, in any case, business clients find value in having specialized appellate counsel who can bring a fresh perspective, distinguish between integral and collateral disputes, and frame the dispositive issues in a compelling way so that the court understands what is important and why.

It is for these kinds of reasons that, over the last 30 years, the profession has seen the rise of practices that specialize in representing clients before the United States Supreme Court and the courts of appeal. The Supreme Court’s docket is completely discretionary and continues to shrink: in the October 2013 term, the Court heard oral argument in 71 cases (not counting related and consolidated matters), compared to 74 cases during the October 2012 term and more than twice that number in the 1980s. Business clients, as well as states and municipalities, are regularly retaining Supreme Court counsel to handle or assist on petitions for review and merits briefing, given appellate counsel’s insight into what is most likely to grab the Court’s attention and garner a majority of votes. Indeed, within the small pool of cases in which cert. was granted for the October 2013 term, 13 firms appeared as counsel of record in at least two cases, and six appeared three times or more.

Trade groups and other constituencies also regularly turn to specialized counsel to file amicus curiae briefs in high-profile cases raising issues important to the business community. Of course, with cases attracting ever-increasing numbers of amicus briefs, having experienced appellate counsel is important to make an amicus’s brief and particular perspective stand out from the crowd.

The shrinking of the Supreme Court’s merits docket also means that intermediate federal appellate courts and state appellate courts will provide the final review in the vast majority of cases. Especially in high-stakes cases, appellate counsel provide value not only once the case is on appeal, but also in framing and preserving issues at the pre-trial and trial phrases, in raising issues for interlocutory appellate review, and in handling post-trial motions.

Below are illustrative areas arising in the Supreme Court’s current term where appellate expertise is especially valuable because cases in these areas frequently appear on the Supreme Court’s docket, raise cutting-edge legal issues, and significantly affect the business community.

Patent Appeals 

Because it has exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is at the forefront of some of the country’s most important litigation. The Supreme Court has consistently accepted Federal Circuit cases for review in recent terms – including cases last term relating to the patentability of human genes and genetically modified soybean seeds. This term is no exception and has included five patent cases, including high-profile issues involving the patentability of computer-implemented inventions and the standard for evaluating patent “indefiniteness”.

Federal Circuit Judges have long encouraged the use of non-patent and experienced appellate lawyers, who are able to provide that crucial “translation” function and who also are uniquely able to frame issues in the Federal Circuit for review by the Supreme Court. Many sophisticated clients therefore regularly retain appellate specialists to handle patent appeals.

Administrative Law and Regulatory Litigation 

Regulatory litigation covers a wide array of substantive areas – including energy, environmental, telecommunications, securities, employment, and food and drug law – and can be as labyrinthine as the regulations themselves. Regulatory implementation and litigation has a profound impact on business, and the Supreme Court has continued to show interest in these kinds of cases.

The October 2013 term, for example, has featured multiple environmental law cases, including sets of cases relating to interstate air pollution and greenhouse gas regulation, and a case involving preemption under CERCLA. The Court also decided preemption issues under the Airline Deregulation Act and Telecommunications Act, and a question of immunity for disclosures under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. The Court also accepted review in a case involving whether a private party can bring a Lanham Act claim challenging a product label regulated under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Appellate specialists add substantial value in such cases, given the complexity of the constitutional and administrative law issues, and because such issues frequently recur in courts like the US Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit. Moreover, clients frequently retain appellate specialists to bring impact litigation against federal, state or local entities, recognizing that it is often best proactively to challenge new legislation or regulations that threaten the well-being of a company or industry, rather than waiting to assert a defense in response to government or private enforcement.

Securities Litigation and Issues Affecting Financial Services Institutions

As in past terms, the Court has accepted for review multiple cases defining the frameworks for securities litigation and affecting financial services institutions. One of the most high-profile cases to be decided is Halliburton Co. v Erica P. John Fund – a case addressing the “fraud on the market” theory for presuming classwide reliance – which is before the Supreme Court for the second time and attracted nearly two dozen amicus briefs.

In addition, the Court accepted review of, among other things, cases addressing pre-emption under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, a case addressing whether the anti-retaliation provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act apply to a public company’s private contractors, and two cases involving claims under ERISA.

As this list reflects, such cases often involve complex and cross-cutting questions of class action procedure, federal preemption of state law, and the interpretation of federal statutory schemes. Such cases also have potentially sweeping effects on the business community both in and out of court.

First Amendment and Media 

Starting with Citizens United, the current Court has been actively engaged in addressing First Amendment speech issues, and that trend has continued in the October 2013 term. Five cases accepted for review identify First Amendment speech issues in the questions presented (not counting three additional cases that raise religious free-exercise issues). Three – including, for example, McCutcheon v FEC, which struck down laws limiting campaign contributions – involve traditional “political speech” issues, but the other two involve labor and employment issues.

As these cases reflect, First Amendment issues can arise in a variety of contexts, many of which – including issues relating to “compelled speech” and protections of commercial speech – can be very important for the business community. Counsel familiar with handling these constitutional issues on appeal can also provide substantial value in identifying and preserving such issues at the trial level.

Moreover, patent issues are not the only intellectual property questions that attract attention from the Court. In the October 2013 term, the Court took two cases involving copyright issues, including one addressing the transmission of television programs over the internet. As reflected in the debate and litigation over “net neutrality”, the interplay of new technologies, intellectual property doctrines, and First Amendment jurisprudence can be expected to continue to raise complex and novel legal issues.

Appellate Law - Nationwide


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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

What the team is known for Retained by major clients in many of the most notable appeals in the USA. Noted for its deep bench of top-rated appellate attorneys, regularly arguing Supreme Court and Circuit Court matters. Also acts on high-value patent appeals, particularly in the technology sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"A very strong team with a lot of depth. I've never seen a group as powerful intellectually, practical and easy to work with; they're phenomenal intellects and very good advisers."

"They have done amazing work at the appellate level. They have done a fabulous job. Every time I give them an issue, not only are they aces when it comes to research, but they also have a deep understanding of the attitude of the courts and are really open to different perspectives."

What's new? Helgi Walker joined the firm in September 2013 from Wiley Rein, bringing expertise in telecommunications matters.

Work highlights Represented Comcast in Comcast v Behrend, a Supreme Court case involving class certification issues in an antitrust action brought by cable television subscribers in Philadelphia.

Represented BP in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a dispute concerning the interpretation of a settlement agreement with local businesses following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Notable practitioners  

The "world-class" Ted Olson is involved in some of the most high-profile appellate matters in the USA, including arguing the Proposition 8 case Hollingsworth v Perry in the Supreme Court. Clients say the former Solicitor General is "very down-to-earth, easy to talk to, very practical and open to debate and dialogue about the case and the merits. He's very easy to work with."

Miguel Estrada's clients are impressed by his intellect and ability, with one saying: "I always have the feeling he's several steps ahead of me - his papers are just blindingly clear in what they say and devastating in how they marshal the arguments." Estrada recently argued Noel Canning v National Labor Relations Board in the Supreme Court, a politically and constitutionally significant challenge to the President's power to make unilateral appointments during Senate recesses.

Theodore Boutrous is considered an "excellent lawyer" by his fellow appellate specialists. He is based in Los Angeles and recently represented Standard Fire Insurance before the Supreme Court in the Standard Fire Insurance v Knowles class action case. 

Helgi Walker recently joined the firm from Wiley Rein. Sources commend her skill in the courtroom, saying: "She is just one of the best advocates I've heard. She does a fantastic oral argument, processes things really well, asks questions and incorporates ideas from other people."

Clients say Thomas Hungar is "an excellent writer and very responsive." Recent work highlights saw him act for BP alongside Olson and Estrada on litigation relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Mark Perry is "extremely impressive in terms of his understanding of material and our position, and his ability to relate with the judges and answer very difficult questions," said one client, who added: "We couldn't be more pleased with his skills." Perry appeared in FMR v Lawson, the Supreme Court's first opportunity to interpret the whistle-blower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Thomas Dupree argued DaimlerChrysler AG v Bauman in the Supreme Court, on the issue of whether plaintiffs can bring suit under the Alien Tort Statute against a US subsidiary for alleged wrongdoing by the corporate parent in another jurisdiction. Clients say: "Tom is extremely responsive, and is also very business-oriented in the sense that he very quickly understands the client's needs."

Significant clients NML Capital, Walmart, Allergan, Chevron, Intel.

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Wide-ranging practice with a significant track record of Supreme Court appearances in complex and widely reported cases, tackling politically and legally significant issues. Active on noteworthy patent appeals in the biotechnology, communications and e-commerce sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Strong writers and oral advocates who are always willing to go the extra mile for the client."

"The firm's strongest points are its knowledge, experience and ability to attract top-notch talent."

Work highlights Represented the University of Texas at Austin before the Supreme Court in Fisher v University of Texas, a landmark challenge to the university's race-conscious admissions program.

Represented the State of Florida in Florida v Harris, a high-profile Fourth Amendment case in the Supreme Court concerning the legality of searches conducted after alerts by police drug detection dogs.

Notable practitioners 

Maureen Mahoney continues to bring her experience to bear on some of the firm's most significant appeals. Peers praise her legal analysis as being "extremely sharp, and she's someone who gives good advice. She's very good and you can see why she has the stellar reputation she does."

"Lawyers' lawyer" and former Solicitor General Gregory Garre is an established presence in the most notable Supreme Court appeals. Representative highlights saw him argue Vance v Ball State University on employment discrimination and the definition of a supervisor under the Civil Rights Act, as well as critical cases at the state and federal levels. Clients consider him to be "low-key but brilliant; a hard worker with a very good client manner."

Scott Ballenger represented the National Collegiate Athletic Association in Corbett v NCAA, a case arising out of the Penn State University abuse scandal. One client commented: "Scott was outstanding; an excellent lawyer. His oral arguments were very well prepared, and he was very helpful and very adept on his feet in court. He was thoroughly prepared in all aspects and working with him was very pleasant."

Clients regard Richard Bress as a "great appellate lawyer. He has the unique ability of coming onto a matter at the appellate stage, quickly getting up to speed on the issues, and handling the appeal in the most efficient manner possible." He recently led a successful challenge under the State Constitution to New York City's regulation of soft drinks carton sizes known as the 'Big Soda Ban'.

Significant clients Amazon, Monsanto, Ford, Union Pacific, United Educators.

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC and Chicago.

What the team is known for Long-established appeals practice with a deep bench of specialized appellate attorneys, regularly handling Supreme Court petitions and merits cases as well as federal and state appeals court matters. Particularly active on high-value commercial cases for large corporate clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The firm is able to handle appeals with the best of them because it has such a depth of talent in appellate work."

"Their appellate practice is first-rate, especially in the areas of drafting and strategy. I also enjoy their breadth across various issues."

Work highlights Represented Phillip Morris USA before the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a challenge to the US Department of Agriculture's allocation of tax excise rates according to a previous rate apportionment.

Acted for Georgia-Pacific West on a successful Supreme Court appeal against a ruling that interpreted the Clean Water Act's permitting requirements as covering runoff from forest roads that is then channeled before flowing into navigable waters.

Notable practitioners

Andrew Frey continues to advise clients on significant appeals, particularly in the area of punitive damages awards. Peers say he is "very good to work with, very responsive, open to discussion and debate, and focused on getting to the right result."

Andrew Pincus recently represented a group of Delaware Court of Chancery judges before the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in a challenge to a Pennsylvania ruling that conducting confidential arbitrations by consent of the parties to a dispute violated the First Amendment. Peers say: "He's an excellent lawyer. I think very highly of him; he's very smart."

Stephen Shapiro represented Sears in a Supreme Court appeal against class certification in a putative class action claim brought by purchasers of washing machines. Deeply impressed by his work, one peer said: "The speed, incisiveness and insights of Shapiro are something to behold. He is a man of extraordinary intellect and talent."

Evan Tager recently represented Actelion in an appeal against a $385 million damages award in a tortious interference with contract case. Clients appreciate his "very rich experience with appellate law," praising him as being "very thoughtful, a great writer and oral advocate, and one of the clearest thinkers in terms of appellate law and strategy."

Peers regard firm managing partner Kenneth Geller as a "top-rate appellate lawyer." A former Deputy Solicitor General, he has argued many cases before the Supreme Court and the Circuit Courts of Appeal.

Market sources call Charles Rothfeld a "genius." He has worked on a vast number of Supreme Court appeals and is a co-director of the Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic. 

Significant clients ArcelorMittal, AT&T, Dow Chemical, Medtronic, Honda North America.

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include DC, Los Angeles and Chicago.

What the team is known for Handles complex and high-value appeals for a broad base of industrial and corporate clients. Active on patent infringement appeals in the pharmaceutical, technology and manufacturing sectors. Very strong Supreme Court amicus curiae briefing practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're very solid and very thorough, they do a good job and we have confidence in the responses they give us."

Work highlights Acted for Luminant Generation on EME Homer City Generation v EPA, a Supreme Court challenge to the EPA's 2011 emissions standards for cross-state air pollution.

Represented the State of California before the Supreme Court in Brown v Plata, a case concerning the imposition of a population cap on prison inmate numbers under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

Notable practitioners  

Clients consider former Solicitor General Carter Phillips "really the best of the best when it comes to complex appellate matters." He continues to argue many of the firm's most significant appeals, with appearances in the Supreme Court, federal and state appellate courts. Peers note his long-standing track record of Supreme Court cases, and one client enthused: "He's extremely thorough, very bright and just outstanding."

Peter Keisler gains extensive praise from market sources, with one peer calling him "one of the best advocates and thinkers I know." Clients say: "He is one of the top appellate litigators in the country at this time. He has incredible mastery of appellate argument, and how to submit the most compelling case to federal judges." He recently argued the abovementioned case on behalf of Luminant Generation.

Joseph Guerra argued for the petitioners in Maracich v Spears, a Supreme Court case concerning the legality under privacy laws of class action plaintiffs' attorneys using Department of Motor Vehicles records to solicit plaintiffs. Peers note his "really outstanding wins in the Supreme Court" and say "he is really a special lawyer."

Significant clients Bank of America, Dell, KPMG, Microsoft, Fox Television Studios.

Band 1 | WilmerHale

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Strong track record of high-profile Supreme Court representations, in addition to a deep Circuit Courts practice. Also has a reputation for patent appeals before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, particularly in hi-tech or developing fields.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are available, they understand the problems so deeply and the client service is impeccable. They are client-sensitive and the product they deliver is fantastic - they are the dream team."

"The firm is able to quickly identify key legal issues, lay out a strategy to address these issues in litigation, and attend to related issues as needed and with minimal correction. WilmerHale’s work product is simply the best that I have ever seen. The firm is also very attentive to input."

Work highlights Represented the respondents before the Supreme Court in Agency for International Development v Alliance for Open Society International, a successful First Amendment challenge to certain conditions imposed on the recipients of federal funding for groups fighting AIDS.

Represented the Tohono O'odham Nation in three separate appeals before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit relating to its purchase of land for potential use as a casino.

Notable practitioners

Former Solicitor General Seth Waxman argues critical Supreme Court appeals for clients such as Monsanto. He gains extensive praise from clients, who say he is "supremely talented, from the clear thinking and thorough dedication that go into his preparation to his unrivaled demeanor in the courtroom." He is also lauded for his ability to "digest complex factual and legal issues and communicate them at oral argument in an extremely persuasive, authoritative and commanding fashion."

Paul Wolfson is a "very bright, strong lawyer," say peers. He recently acted on Mayorkas v Cuellar de Osorio, a Supreme Court challenge to certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Wolfson represented a nationwide class of immigrants given lawful permanent resident status due to family members being US citizens, seeking to obtain the same status for their own children. 

Significant clients American Express, Apple, Cisco Systems, Medtronic, Amgen.

Band 2 | Jones Day

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC and Los Angeles. 

What the team is known for Widely praised by market commentators for its strength in the appellate sphere. Maintains an enviable reputation for its record of success in groundbreaking Supreme Court appeals. Strong and growing practice representing clients in trial courts on critical issues and motions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a broad appellate practice, and continue to thrive."

Work highlights Represented intervening parties including the US Chamber of Commerce in Noel Canning v National Labor Relations Board, the Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of Presidential appointments made during Senate recesses.

Acted for Myriad Genetics before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Association for Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics, on the eligibility for patenting of synthetic DNA molecules used to test for mutations in genes which increase a patient's predisposition towards developing breast or ovarian cancer.

Notable practitioners

Peers commend Michael Carvin's work on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act case in the Supreme Court. He also recently argued on behalf of the Washington Legal Foundation before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in US v Caronia, a case concerning the promotion of off-label uses of prescription drugs under the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.

Glen Nager chairs the issues and appeals practice, and recently represented Innovation Ventures in a Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit trademark infringement case. He also acts on class action defense matters for employers.

Donald Ayer acts on criminal defense and business appeals, with a strong track record of Supreme Court oral arguments. In government, he served as Deputy Attorney General and as Principal Assistant to the Solicitor General.

Significant clients CBS Broadcasting, Chevron Products, Experian America, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, R.J. Reynolds.

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington DC.

What the team is known for Specialist litigation firm with a strong appellate offering. Particularly noted for its work on telecommunications matters for major clients. Also has substantial experience of antitrust matters in the federal appellate courts.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have developed one of the premier litigation practices. On a bang-for-buck basis, they're cost-effective and very good. A go-to firm for litigation and counseling, particularly for appellate brief writing."

Notable practitioners  

David Frederick's plaintiff-side appellate work is praised by peers, who say: "He's excellent - really unique." He recently argued a securities class action matter in the Supreme Court, Amgen v Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds.

Michael Kellogg's peers laud his oral advocacy, saying: "He's great, really sharp and has a great presence at the podium." He is a former Assistant to the Solicitor General and focuses his practice on telecommunications, regulatory and antitrust matters.

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC and Los Angeles.

What the team is known for Frequently represents major corporate clients in commercial law and employment appeals, with a specialty in class action defense matters. The appellate group features former government officials with extensive appellate experience. Particularly strong on the West Coast.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their preparation is fantastic, their written product is exemplary, and their courtroom ability to think on their feet is excellent."

What's new? Pratik Shah joined the firm in August 2013 from the Office of the Solicitor General, where he argued a number of Supreme Court cases.

Work highlights Argued for Starbucks before the federal appellate courts in two class action claims brought by employees concerning the coffee retailer's tip distribution policy.

Represented SuperValu in an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against class certification in a claim brought by employees regarding the meal and rest break policy at the retailer's stores.

Notable practitioners  

Rex Heinke recently represented Ernst & Young in an appeal against class certification in a claim brought by former employees. One client enthused: "Rex is probably the best appellate lawyer I've ever worked with, particularly for day-to-day management. He's clear, concise and talented."

Significant clients Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, American Beverage Association, 24 Hour Fitness USA, 2300 Pennsylvania Ave, Lothian Oil.

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Strong representation in the federal courts of appeal, with a growing reputation in notable and highly contentious Supreme Court cases. Also frequently involved in briefing work as amicus curiae to the Supreme Court.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They developed some original, extremely helpful, creative analysis."

"They have historically had a very strong appellate practice. They are demonstrating that the appellate practice is extremely good."

Work highlights Represented Sallie Mae subsidiary General Revenue Corporation in a Supreme Court appeal concerning recovery of legal costs under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Represented the adoptive parents in Adoptive Couple v Baby Girl in the Supreme Court, a strongly contested child custody case involving issues of interpretation of the Indian Child Welfare Act when a Native American birth parent has not had custody over their child.

Notable practitioners 

Clients regard Lisa Blatt as "world-class – a terrific lawyer and a pleasure to work with." An established presence in the highest courts, she has argued 33 Supreme Court cases. Impressed by her recent record, peers note: "She had a great year. She had difficult cases and she won them."

Significant clients Federal Housing Finance Agency, Phillip Morris USA, Bank of America, JPMorgan Securities, York Capital.

Band 3 | Bancroft PLLC

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for A growing four-partner boutique appellate practice. Involved in some of the most noteworthy Supreme Court and federal courts appeals. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're really a fantastic practice, with a number of talented associates."

Notable practitioners  

Paul Clement gains universal praise from peers in the Appellate Bar, with one describing him as "a class apart. I think he's terrific - in argument he's just stellar. I'm a huge fan." Another source said: "He always impresses; he's a very effective written and oral advocate." One client enthused: "There is no greater legal mind I've ever dealt with. It's comforting to have him on your team - he understands the legal landscape better than anyone."

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Growing appellate practice counting a number of former government officials among its ranks. Notable experience of intellectual property appeals as well as business law matters for major clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their appellate practice is a force to be reckoned with."

"I'm happy that they have conducted the case in a very efficient manner. We're very happy with the fees – they are very reasonable."

Work highlights Acted for Foundry Networks on a patent infringement appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit relating to a method for detecting disconnections from electronic networks. 

Represented Kia Motors in an appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on the issue of whether changes to franchise law could be interpreted as having retroactive effect on existing franchise agreements. 

Notable practitioners

Neal Katyal recently argued on behalf of US Airways before the Supreme Court in US Airways v McCutchen, an ERISA case concerning reimbursement of the plan provider when damages are recovered from the tortfeasor after an accident. Clients say: "He is extremely responsive to our needs, and the quality of his work is exceptional."

Catherine Stetson acted for the town of Glendale, Arizona in Gila River Indian Community v US, a Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit case concerning the Tohono O'odham Nation's attempt to acquire land for potential use as a casino. Peers say: "She's particularly good on her feet and her briefing is good and concise. I've always been impressed with her work."

Significant clients Google, United Healthcare, Brocade Communications Systems, Odebrecht, Southern Wine & Spirits.

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC and Chicago.

What the team is known for Strong on copyright infringement cases for major media companies, often involving internet download or streaming services. Also acts on a range of appeals for corporate clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I thought they were fabulous. They were very responsive, very quick to get back and answer questions we raised, and quick to let us know what the next step should be and what strategy we should take. I was impressed by how smart they were and how focused and practical in their advice."

"A deep stable of lawyers, they have a good Washington office and a great Chicago office. They approach the case in a thorough and very creative way, and the quality of the product is high. The deep bench is important - they're developing talent."

Work highlights Represented major US film studios before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Columbia Pictures et al v Fung (isoHunt), an appeal against the owner of a website containing links to peer-to-peer files which infringed the studios' copyrights.

Acted for the City of New York before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, affirming a $105 million judgment award against ExxonMobil for contaminating wells owned by the City.

Notable practitioners 

Paul Smith is particularly active on appeals in the media and entertainment sector. "As an appellate advocate I thought he was superb – very well prepared, he'd thought through the issues and focused on what was important, and his style was just riveting," said one client.

Significant clients News Corp, Viacom, Olin Corporation, General Dynamics, Dow Chemical.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington DC and New York.

What the team is known for Fields a strong group of specialized appellate lawyers acting on a range of matters. Frequently retained by clients in the pharmaceutical sector, acting for both generic and branded manufacturers. Often acts on legal issues and key motions at the trial level.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've put together a superstar team and their advice has been terrific."

"They do a really nice job staying ahead of what needs to get done in a case. I like the quality of the relationship and the quality of the work."

Work highlights Represented Don Johnson Productions in a dispute with Rysher Entertainment before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, concerning the calculation of profits from a television show under the All Gross Receipts measure.

Represented former US Drug Administration official Shirley Sherrod in defamation proceedings against the late political commentator Andrew Breitbart and his website, which had uploaded edited video clips portraying Ms Sherrod's speech to an NAACP convention in a misleading manner.

Notable practitioners 

Christopher Landau recently acted for a group of federal judges on a challenge to judicial compensation rules. Peers say: "He has a mastery of a number of substantive areas and a huge amount of credibility with the Supreme Court. I'd single him out as a hugely impressive lawyer. He's very direct, polished and serious - he really has a lot of good qualities."

Jay Lefkowitz represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in an appeal concerning the nature of a generic drug manufacturer's duty to warn physicians about label changes. Clients say: "Jay is brilliant; there is no other way to put it. He is very good on his feet and very thorough in preparation; Jay just carried the day for us."

Significant clients Charter Communications, Dow AgroSciences, Mutual Pharmaceutical, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Canada), Raytheon.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Wide-ranging appellate practice, frequently appearing on ERISA appeals for major corporate clients. Strong Supreme Court amicus curiae briefing practice. Lead lawyers receive support from a large team of associates and younger partners.

Work highlights Represented Edison before the Court of the Ninth Circuit in an ERISA class action involving challenges to investment options in the Edison plan.

Represented UBS before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the successful dismissal of a $500 million claim under the Anti-Terrorism Act concerning transactions with Iranian counterparties.

Notable practitioners  

Senior statesman Walter Dellinger continues to act for clients such as Johnson & Johnson. Peers praise his creativity and advocacy skills

Jonathan Hacker recently represented Rio Tinto before the Supreme Court in a case brought under the Alien Tort Statute relating to alleged human rights violations in Papua New Guinea.

Significant clients Bank of America, ExxonMobil, Ford, UBS, Warner Bros. Entertainment.

第三等 |

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Silicon Valley.

What the team is known for Specialized litigation firm with a strong appellate practice. Frequently represents clients at the trial level in issues of law and important motions. Often involved in long-running, high-value litigation matters with significant appeals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're strategic thinkers - they came up with great strategies both at trial and on appeal that really got us some great results."

Work highlights Represented Samsung in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, overturning a preliminary injunction against the marketing of the Galaxy Nexus cell phone in the latest round of the continuing 'smartphone wars' patent litigation between Samsung, Apple and other major technology companies.

Represented Entergy before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a successful constitutional challenge under federal pre-emption law to Vermont statutes that would have forced the closure of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station. 

Notable practitioners  

Former dean of Stanford Law School Kathleen Sullivan recently had a 9-0 victory in the Supreme Court in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum, a case under the Alien Tort Statute concerning conduct outside the territorial United States. Peers say she is "really excellent" and one happy client praises her as "a consummate practitioner before any appeal court. She is a powerhouse in terms of her ability to succeed at the appellate level. She's terrific – a brilliant appellate lawyer."

Significant clients Shell, Google, Mattel, Oracle, AIG.

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Litigation boutique with a strong appellate practice and Supreme Court track record.  Also acts in a number of Circuit Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts on significant matters for a range of corporate and individual clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their reputation is top-notch when it comes to Supreme Court practice. Their client service and work product are fantastic."

Notable practitioners  

The "brilliant" Roy Englert is a noted Supreme Court advocate widely admired by peers in the upper echelons of the Appellate Bar. Of a recent case, one client said: "We had a number of surprises that he handled with remarkable finesse and ultimately everything went exactly right. It was breathtaking to behold."

Peers commend Lawrence Robbins' work at both the trial and appellate levels, with one saying he is "highly experienced and a superb writer with very good litigation judgment."

Alan Untereiner is "a terrific appellate lawyer," who often acts on product liability matters and white-collar criminal defense cases.

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Very strong on high-stakes patent appeals, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector. The team includes a number of former government officials. Briefs on and argues complex legal issues and motions at the trial court level.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They do a very good job. They all work very well as a team."

Work highlights Represented BP before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a dispute with the insurers of rig owner Transocean over BP's coverage under a $1 billion pollution damage policy in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Represented Silicon Storage Technology before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in the successful defense of a patent infringement claim concerning a manufacturing process used in the construction of flash memory chips.

Notable practitioners

Robert Long is "a great oral advocate. I always feel very comfortable before any court that Rob would be a good choice," said one client. Long recently represented Wells Fargo in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a class action claim concerning debit card overdraft fees.

Significant clients American Petroleum Institute, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Alpharma, Deere & Company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

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Basic facts about the department
Key office is Washington, DC. 

What the team is known for Represents clients in a range of matters before the state and federal appeals courts, with a track record of Supreme Court appearances. Notable strength in healthcare sector-related work. Partners draw support from an 11-strong team of associates, including a number of former Supreme Court clerks.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're terrific - they're responsive, creative, practical, outstanding."

Work highlights Represented the defendant university before the Supreme Court in Nassar v University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, an employment discrimination case involving issues of causation in constructive discharge cases.

Acted on the appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit of a False Claims Act qui tam matter for MedQuest Associates, on issues including whether ensuring physicians who supervise diagnostic scans are qualified to do so is a condition of payment under Medicare and Medicaid.

Notable practitioners  

Daryl Joseffer frequently acts on patent infringement cases in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and has also argued a number of cases in the Supreme Court. Peers praise his subject matter expertise, saying: "In the area of intellectual property he's really very strong."

Jeff Bucholtz is recognized for his expertise in False Claims Act cases. One client said: "He did a fabulous job. He was incredibly quick at getting up to speed with the trial, and able to very quickly discern our appeal points. His briefs were perhaps the most well written I have ever seen. He understands your business and is efficient in the right way."

Ashley Parrish focuses on major appeals in the energy sector, including challenges to decisions of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Clients praise his regulatory work and describe him as being "very effective at oral argument and very calm - he is very focused and clear."

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Houston and San Francisco.

What the team is known for Acts on a range of appellate matters for notable clients, including intellectual property, environmental, employment and securities litigation cases. Noted for its regulatory appeals work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're incredibly useful in terms of research, and their written work is some of the best I've seen." 

"Extremely responsive - I can send an e-mail any time and I get a response in five minutes."

Work highlights Acted for Bayer, Wyeth and Johnson & Johnson on cases concerning the classification of sales representatives for the purposes of California statutory overtime pay requirements.

Represented ActiveVideo Networks in patent infringement litigation against Verizon over television and video-on-demand patents, including an appearance in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Notable practitioners  

Allyson Ho recently represented Toyota before the Texas Supreme Court. Sources say she is "very smart, a good writer and a good oral advocate. A very good appellate generalist, who can take any subject matter and run with it."

David Salmons recently joined the firm from Bingham McCutcheon. Sources praise his written work, with one saying his brief in a recent case was "analytically tight and extremely well written, and hit all the points." A former Assistant to the Solicitor General, 2013 saw him act on an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in the Deepwater Horizon multidistrict litigation.

Significant clients American Independence Mines & Minerals, Rite Aid, Mount Soledad Memorial Association, Pruco Life Insurance.

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC and San Francisco.

What the team is known for A growing appellate practice, with noted support from younger partners. Represents a loyal base of corporate clients in a range of matters, including bankruptcy cases and intellectual property appeals.

Work highlights Succeeded in completely reversing a $60 million jury award before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Neurovision Medical Products v NuVasive, a trademark case in the medical device sector.

Notable practitioners  

Former Assistant to the Solicitor General Deanne Maynard frequently argues patent and trademark appeals, and has appeared in a number of Supreme Court cases. Peers say she is "incredibly established, a great professional to have as opposing counsel, always polite and civilized but a zealous advocate for her clients. A great person and a great lawyer."

The up-and-coming Brian Matsui acts on a range of appeals, including intellectual property matters. Sources say he "is very low-key, provides really good client service, is a good writer and has good legal judgment."

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Continues to solidify its presence in the appellate arena. Particularly active in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Noted for its representation of technology companies in high-profile patent and copyright cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their preparation and focus are remarkable - no detail is too small, no risk is overlooked. They work seamlessly with our trial team, and they're enthusiastic, creative and modest."

"What sets them apart is they do the best job at focusing on the high-priority strategic issues of law and policy. The way they present these cases is to really present the issues and not get bogged down in detail."

What's new? Robert Loeb joined the firm in March 2013 from the US Department of Justice. Intellectual property appellate practitioner Eric Shumsky joined the firm from Sidley Austin in April 2013.

Work highlights Continues to represent Apple in the high-stakes, long-running 'smartphone wars' patent litigation, including an appearance before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Represented an online retailer before the Supreme Court in Supap Kirtsaeng v John Wiley & Sons, on the issue of whether or not a copyright owner could assert its rights against the seller of foreign-manufactured goods imported and sold in the USA.

Notable practitioners  

Joshua Rosenkranz recently acted on a copyright challenge to a DVR system which allows users to skip commercial breaks in recorded television shows. His clients say: "He's a joy to work with - his ability to come up with creative ideas is amazing. Just so much experience and hard work go into matters. I wouldn't use anybody else if I had another significant appellate case that was important to business or political risk."

Significant clients Oracle, Morgan Stanley, L3 Communications, Center for Reproductive Rights.

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices in Houston and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Long-established specialized appellate practice. Features on major appeals in the energy sector, with a focus on oil and gas matters. Noted reputation in the Texas State courts as well as the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Just outstanding – we had very responsive practical advice and tremendous results."

"They give us good value, they are very responsive and they are nice people who work hard and communicate well."

Work highlights Represented Oxy Vinyls in appealing to the Supreme Court of Alabama against a $70 million judgment award in a breach of contract case connected to an agreement to purchase chlorine.

Acted for the Port of Houston Authority on appeal to the Supreme Court of Texas, in a $23.4 million breach of contract dispute in the construction sector, including government immunity issues.

Notable practitioners  

Washington DC-based appellate practitioner John Elwood acts for major clients on a range of cases and is also noted as a commentator on appellate matters. Sources say he is "phenomenal. He's really useful in terms of writing briefs and counseling; his writing is excellent."

Based in Houston, Marie Yeates regularly acts on oil and gas sector matters as well as general commercial law appeals. Clients say: "She's indefatigable, creative and very smart, and she throws herself into each and every case. In some cases she ends up knowing the businesses as much as the businesspeople themselves."

Significant clients Midstates Petroleum, Petrohawk.

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Basic facts about the department
Key office in Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Top trial firm with an increasing focus on appellate work. Handles high-value appeals generated internally as well as being frequently hired at the appellate stage. Very active on patent appeals cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I consider them a formidable appellate practice because they're so talented."

Work highlights Argued before the Supreme Court in Maryland v King, a Fourth Amendment case on the issue of collection and storing DNA samples from suspects who are arrested but not later charged with a criminal offense.

Represented The Carlyle Group in a $1 billion dispute before the Delaware Supreme Court with the liquidators of the Carlyle Capital Corporation hedge fund, who allege breaches of fiduciary obligations in the run-up to the fund's collapse in 2008.

Notable practitioners  

Former Assistant to the Solicitor General Kannon Shanmugam earns high praise from peers for his work on both civil and criminal appeals, including a number of Supreme court appearances. Fellow practitioners are quick to commend him, saying he is "a superb advocate who can very quickly get to the crux of the matter. He brings great insight into how to petition an issue for the court and get a favorable resolution there."

Significant clients Alcon Research, Bank of America, Domino's Pizza, Eli Lilly, Merck.

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Basic facts about the department
Key offices in Chicago and Washington, DC.

What the team is known for Represents noteworthy clients in a range of appellate matters, both as amicus curiae and in party briefs. Growing reputation for handling appeals in both state and federal courts. Often acts for clients at the trial level on important motions and points of law.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They're fantastic, very responsive, give honest assessments of the risks, are incredibly talented and thoughtful lawyers, and I've found that there's rarely if ever a question I ask that they haven't already thought through."

"They ensure that queries from our team are well understood, study the query appropriately and in necessary detail, give a very satisfactory explanation that gives confidence and also come up with new ideas in the process."

Work highlights Represented the government of the US Virgin Islands in a dispute with the IRS before the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit over a tax incentive aimed at encouraging small business startups in the Islands.

Represented the Republic of Ecuador in a long-running environmental dispute with Chevron, including issues of US discovery for the purposes of arbitration conducted in another jurisdiction.

Notable practitioners  

Linda Coberly recently represented Monitor Clipper Partners before the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in a misappropriation of trade secrets case against Hallmark Cards. Clients say: "She's fantastic. She's incredibly thoughtful and incredibly smart. I've never stumped her on a question - she has the answers already thought through to questions I ask. She is also very responsive and a very good communicator."

Significant clients Grant Thornton, Goldman Sachs, Hyundai, Omnicare, Luxottica.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

Thomas Phillips of Baker Botts LLP is a former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and continues to bring his experience to bear on some of the firm's most important cases. Recalling a recent case, one client said: "He's a very good lawyer; he filed one of the best briefs I've ever read."

Florida-based appellate practitioner Bruce Rogow of Bruce S. Rogow, P.A.  is noted for his appellate work at both the state and federal levels, including a track record of Supreme Court appearances.

Peers praise Donald Dunner of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP for his intellectual property work, particularly on patent infringement appeals. He has a track record of appearances in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Thomas Goldstein of Goldstein & Russell, P.C. is well regarded both as a commentator and as an appellate practitioner in his own right. Peers regard him as being "very savvy, very knowledgeable about the Justices, and good at predicting trends."

Former General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission Christopher Wright of Wiltshire & Grannis LLP is widely praised by peers, who note his work in the telecom sector. Sources say: "Good briefs, good oral argument, good feel for judges – in every respect he's just terrific." He also acts on a range of business law appeals and has a strong amicus curiae briefing practice.

David Axelrad of Horvitz & Levy LLP recently argued before the Missouri Court of Appeals on behalf of Monsanto in a case concerning exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls. Clients regard him as a "big-picture guy - he has his pulse on what's going on in California and the appellate world."

Peers describe Bartow Farr of the Law Office of H. Bartow Farr as "one of the most powerful oral advocates I've ever seen – one of those hidden gems." A former Assistant to the Solicitor General, he was appointed by the Supreme Court in the recent challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as amicus curiae.

Mike Hatchell of Locke Lord LLP acts for clients such as Berkshire Hathaway. Peers say he is "often referred to as the dean of the Appellate Bar in Texas - an outstanding appellate lawyer. He's particularly good at capturing the essence of the arguments and articulating them in a way that will maximize their appeal to the court."

Jeffrey Lamken of MoloLamken LLP gains widespread recognition and praise from peers, who say: "He's a real leading player - a superstar lawyer. He works cases endlessly, painstakingly; every word of his briefs is crafted. He's one of the most hard-working lawyers I know." With a strong track record of Supreme Court appearances, Lamken acts on a range of matters, including Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act cases.

Based in Los Angeles, Daniel Collins of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP is regarded as "very able" by peers. He acts on matters such as misappropriation of trade secrets cases before both state and federal courts.

Jonathan Franklin of Norton Rose Fulbright (Fulbright & Jaworski LLP) recently represented GE Energy before the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a landmark case interpreting for the first time the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act relating to whistle-blowers.

Stephen Kinnaird of Paul Hastings LLP recently acted in Peugh v US, a Supreme Court appeal on the issue of the effect of revised sentencing conditions when the revision occurs after the commission of a crime but before sentencing. Of a recent matter, one peer says: "He did an excellent brief. It was very, very good work in a tough case."

Eric Miller of Perkins Coie LLP is described as "one of the most exciting younger practitioners at the Supreme Court Bar right now: an enormously talented lawyer, a very gifted brief writer, and thoroughly unflappable." Based in Seattle, he is both a former Assistant to the Solicitor General and former Deputy General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, and now acts for clients such as Boeing.

Douglas Hallward-Driemeier of Ropes & Gray LLP recently argued Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v Arkison in the Supreme Court, on the issue of the authority of bankruptcy judges not bound by Article III of the Constitution. Peers say he is "a very talented lawyer, in terms of both oral advocacy and strategic thinking, with really impeccable judgment."

Former Justice of the Florida Supreme Court Raoul Cantero of White & Case LLP represented the State Senate in a case before the Florida First District Court of Appeal, which held that a court could not compel senators to testify about motivating factors or evidence on which they relied in voting on legislation.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.