Appellate in United States
Chaired by Daniel Geyser, Geyser P.C. focuses on complex and high-stakes appellate litigation in the US Supreme Court and in federal courts of appeals nationwide. In the past term, Geyser argued three cases at the US Supreme Court. On one such occasion, Geyser scored a 9-0 victory for the petitioner in Lagos v United States, in which the court clarified the conditions under which an order of criminal restitution can be ordered under a federal restitution statute. Other highlights at the US Supreme Court included representing Somers in proceedings brought by petitioner Digital Realty Trust, as well as securing a 9-0 win for the respondents in the case of U.S. Bank National Association v Village at Lakeridge, concerning appellate procedure and the applicable standard of review for decisions taken by a trial court regarding non-statutory insider status in bankruptcy matters. In the US Supreme Court’s current term, Geyser presented arguments for the petitioner in Obduskey v McCarthy & Holthus LLP, a case regarding the potential application of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to non-judicial foreclosure proceedings. Gesyer also appeared on behalf of the respondent in Henry Schein Inc. v Archer and White Sales Inc, in which the court interpreted the Federal Arbitration Act in regard to the 'wholly groundless' exception to an arbitrator’s powers delegated under an arbitration agreement.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
A litigation powerhouse with unparalleled trial level success in a wide variety of practice areas, such as white-collar crime, corporate investigations, financial services, and general commercial disputes, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP founded a dedicated appellate practice in 2019. The firm attracted one of the country’s renowned appellate litigators as practice chair – Kannon Shanmugam (‘model of excellence‘ who ‘writes briefs that sting‘ and ‘presents compelling oral arguments‘), who joined from Williams & Connolly LLP at the end of January 2019. With 27 US Supreme Court arguments under his belt, Shanmugam achieved unprecedented success at the court during the last term, obtaining review in three separate cases on the same day as well as presenting arguments in four cases.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's sizable practice, which is headed by Washington DC-based Mark Perry, covers a wide array of appellate and constitutional issues at all levels of the US court system. At the US Supreme Court, Perry secured a 7-2 victory for petitioner Raymond J Lucia in proceedings against the SEC concerning a constitutional challenge to the appointment of SEC administrative law judges. Theodore Olson and Matthew McGill successfully argued in favor of the State of New Jersey in seeking the overturn of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was granted by the US Supreme Court with a 6-3 vote; the judgment had the wide-ranging effect of affirming states’ powers to authorize and license sports betting. Thomas Dupree Jr. was successful before the US Supreme Court on behalf of the petitioner in Wisconsin Central Ltd. v United States; the court issued a narrow 5-4 opinion, overturning the Seventh Circuit's ruling that stock options should be considered 'taxable compensation' under the 1937 Railroad Retirement Tax Act. On the courts of appeals side, at the Fifth Circuit, Washington DC-based duo Eugene Scalia and Jason Mendro secured a 2-1 victory for multiple clients, including the US Chamber of Commerce; the team successfully challenged the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule regulating services provided by financial advisers, thereby convincing the court to reverse a prior judgment by the federal district court upholding the rule. Assisted by Theane Evangelis (Los Angeles) and Joshua Lipshutz (Washington DC), Theodore Boutrous Jr. (Los Angeles) successfully argued in favor of defendant-appellant Uber Technologies in proceedings brought before a three-judge panel at the Ninth Circuit, which unanimously reversed the district court’s class certification orders and confirmed the status of Uber drivers as independent contractors. Boutrous also led on the defense of Kimberly-Clark against a verdict demanding $350m in punitive damages payable to a class of surgical gown purchasers, with the matter currently being subject to cross-appeal. In another highlight at the Fifth Circuit, Miguel Estrada led on the Bayou Bridge Pipeline’s challenge of a preliminary injunction to stop a construction project in the Atchafalaya Basin. The practice has been undergoing significant changes. June 2018 saw Allyson Ho join the firm’s Dallas office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. November 2018 marked the return of former Solicitor General of Colorado Frederick Yarger to the office in Denver. In January 2018, James Ho departed to accept a judge position at the Fifth Circuit. In November 2018, Nicole Saharsky transferred to Mayer Brown. Thomas Hungar rejoined the firm in Washington DC in January 2019, after leaving his role as general counsel to the House of Representatives. In March 2019, former practice head Caitlin Halligan moved to Selendy & Gay.
Jones Day's appellate team 'delivers successful results due to its significant expertise, experience and thorough attention to detail'. Praised by clients as being a 'superb brief writer' and 'always prepared for all potential lines of questioning', Shay Dvoretzky 'handles oral arguments with grace and ease'. At the US Supreme Court, Dvoretzky represented petitioner Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp in a pending case concerning the defense of 'impossibility pre-emption' used by drug manufacturers to preclude liability under state tort law in cases where patients are injured by FDA-approved drugs. Dvoretzky also represented co-respondent Jones Day in a law firm dissolution dispute, in which the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected claims brought by former global law partnership Heller Ehrman. Glen Nager secured a victory for General Electric (GE) in proceedings at the Sixth Circuit brought by GE’s former employees challenging certain amendments in the company’s health benefits program. In a consolidated appeal against the 2015 Declaratory Ruling of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the DC Circuit, the team achieved a victory for a group of companies seeking to strike down the FCC’s expanded definition of 'automatic telephone dialing system' applicable in establishing violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The Ninth Circuit issued an antitrust judgment in favor of the US Chamber of Commerce, which was represented by a team led by Michael Carvin in appealing against a district court’s decision concerning the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing the unionization of for-hire drivers. In a highlight at the First Circuit, Yaakov Roth successfully defended Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico against antitrust claims alleging 'sham litigation' distorting competition, brought by petitioner Puerto Rico Telephone Company. The practice group is led by Beth Haifetz and includes, Rajeev Muttreja (New York), David Raimer and Charlotte Taylor, who were recently promoted to partner. Associate Jeffrey Johnson is also noted.
The ‘fantastic’ and ‘incredibly persuasive’ appellate lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis LLP ‘do a fantastic job in handling even the most esoteric and complex legal issues in an understandable manner’. Split 5-4 in the case of Jesner v Arab Bank Plc, the US Supreme Court decided in favor of the group’s client Arab Bank Plc, thereby finding that liability for alleged overseas wrongdoings under the Alien Tort Statute does not extend to foreign corporations sued before US courts. With an impressive track record of over 90 cases argued before the US Supreme Court, the ‘incredible’ Paul Clement represented petitioner WesternGeco in a case reviewing the focus of the 'general damages' provision under the Patent Act, and convinced the court to reverse the Federal Circuit’s prior decision favoring the position of ION Geophysical. Partnering up with George Hicks at the US Supreme Court, Clement secured a victory for petitioner Encino Motorcars in proceedings concerning service advisers at car dealerships and their respective rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. After achieving successful outcomes for the Chicago Cubs and owner Tom Ricketts during the trial stage and in the Seventh Circuit, Clement and Erin Murphy (who ‘demonstrates unbelievable effectiveness in presenting oral arguments’) jointly led the team in defeating a petition, filed by the owners of rooftop businesses adjacent to Wrigley Field, requesting US Supreme Court review. At the Ninth Circuit, the team is representing TransUnion LLC in appealing a $60m jury verdict concerning alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. At the Fourth Circuit, New York-based Jay Lefkowitz and Washington DC-based Jonathan Janow successfully argued for the Association for Accessible Medicines, which challenged Maryland generic drug pricing statute HB 631. In March 2018, Christopher Landau departed to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. In February 2018, Susan Engel left to join Latham & Watkins LLP. Viet Dinh took an executive position in house.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice, which has handled numerous high-profile appeals, often adopts a proactive approach in working with trial specialists before an issue even reaches the appeal stage, for which it attracts praise from clients. ‘Terrific’ practice head Gregory Garre successfully defended the United States Soccer Federation against claims brought by appellant North American Soccer League (NASL) before the Second Circuit, which denied the NASL a preliminary injunction reinstating its Division II designation. At the US Supreme Court, Garre argued for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in a dispute with the State of Georgia over water rights and the equitable division of two rivers originating in Georgia. At the Ninth Circuit, Richard Bress and Philip Perry led the group in representing agricultural biotech company Monsanto joining as intervenor-respondent in support of the EPA in proceedings reviewing the EPA’s registration of the herbicide dicamba. Washington DC-based duo Melissa Arbus Sherry and Scott Ballenger acted for Union Pacific Railroad in the Ninth Circuit’s case of Wells v Union Pacific Railroad Co, which focused on property rights in Union Pacific’s rights of way. In a pro bono case at the Eleventh Circuit, Garre and Ballenger presented arguments on behalf of petitioner Cory R. Maples, and convinced the Court that the client was denied effective assistance of counsel during his death penalty trial. Other noteworthy highlights included the group’s successful representation of Pandora Media and iHeartMedia in a class action copyright lawsuit at the Ninth Circuit (currently pending at the California Supreme Court), as well as a victory for client DWA Holdings as plaintiff-appellant at the Federal Circuit. In February 2018, counsel Susan Engel joined the firm from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Acting across a broad spectrum of practice areas, Mayer Brown’s ‘spectacular’ practice is highly recommended for ‘delivering first-class results’. At the US Supreme Court level, in the case of National Association of Manufacturers v Department of Defense, Chicago-based Timothy Bishop and Washington DC-based Michael Kimberly secured a unanimous win for the petitioners, thereby successfully challenging the EPA's definition under a 2015 regulation of the term 'the waters of the United States', which is used in the 1972 Clean Water Act. In a recent success for Weyerhaeuser in Weyerhaeuser Company v United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bishop presented arguments concerning the interpretation of the 1973 Endangered Species Act before the US Supreme Court, which unanimously vacated the Fifth Circuit’s decision and sent the case back for further review. The ‘diligent, well-prepared and thoughtful’ Paul Hughes successfully argued for R. Scott Appling in proceedings brought by petitioner law firm Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP before the US Supreme Court, which resolved a circuit court split and unanimously backed the reading of the Bankruptcy Code suggested by Hughes’ client. At the Ninth Circuit and the US Supreme Court, Andrew Pincus successfully led the team on defending a prior decision concerning consumer protection issued by the district court in favor of mobile telecom company AT&T Mobility. Nancy Ross and Brian Netter lead the Chicago and Washington DC teams, respectively, in defending a number of elite universities in a series of class actions across the country, alleging breaches of the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ‘Handling matters to perfection’, Evan Tager (‘the best brief writer in the country’) and Charles Rothfeld (‘a great strategic appellate thinker’) are highly recommended. Following a move from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in November 2018, Nicole Saharsky assumed the position of co-head of the appellate department. Karen Lin is a promising associate in the practice group.
During the past term, WilmerHale's 'very strong' and 'well-coordinated' appellate team reaffirmed its successful track record in the US Supreme Court. In the case of McCoy v Louisiana, the group relied on the Sixth Amendment in convincing the US Supreme Court to overturn Robert McCoy’s convictions and order a new trial; practice co-chair Seth Waxman led the team and argued for the petitioner. Led by vice-chair Danielle Spinelli in representing petitioner Mission Product Holdings at the US Supreme Court, the group successfully filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in an ongoing case concerning the interpretation of section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, brought against respondent Tempnology, LLC. Spinelli and Philip Anker (New York) secured a victory in a bankruptcy case at the Second Circuit, acting for the Bank of Oklahoma as a trustee for the first-lien noteholders issued by silicone maker Momentive Performance Materials. Following a judgment of the Ninth Circuit and a subsequent grant of review by the US Supreme Court, Daniel Volchok (who 'gives clients confidence as he manages their cases') and his team assisted petitioner Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District with reaching a highly publicized antitrust settlement with the SolarCity Corporation, a subsidiary of Tesla, Inc. Practice co-chair Paul Wolfson led the group in representing the appellee in the Sixth Circuit’s case of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio v Himes, which reviewed the constitutionality of a law revoking healthcare funding from abortion providers. At the Federal Circuit, Boston-based vice-chair Mark Fleming successfully argued for appellee LogMeIn, Inc. in a patent case brought by 01 Communique Laboratory. Counsel Thomas Sprankling (Palo Alto) is another name to note.
Jenner & Block LLP
Jenner & Block LLP’s group secured a crucial victory for appellant Exelon Corporation in proceedings at the Seventh Circuit concerning the State of Illinois’ Zero Emissions Credit program; Matthew Price led the team and presented the argument. Price also successfully defended the State of New York’s Zero Emissions Credit program at the Second Circuit. At the Eight Circuit, Ian Gershengorn prevailed in arguing the case for the appellant in Charter Advanced Services v Lange, concerning VoIP services and the interpretation of 'information service' under Minnesota’s state regulation. Led by Matthew Hellman and Chicago-based Geoffrey Davis at the US Supreme Court, the team represented the petitioner in Marinello v United States, and convinced the court to reverse a Second Circuit decision regarding the application of section 7212(a) of the Internal Revenue Code to tax law obstruction-of-justice charges. Adam Unikowsky argued for the petitioner in Sveen v Melin, in which the US Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to Minnesota’s revocation-on-divorce statute. On another occasion, the US Supreme Court sided with Unikowsky’s client-petitioner Stephanie Artis, a former DC health inspector, in proceedings brought against the District of Columbia; the case shed light on the doctrine of supplemental jurisdiction and the statute of limitations period under state law. Jessica Ring Amunson and Chicago-based Michael Brody are also recommended.
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP’s appellate team provides ‘great client communication’ and ‘excellent written and oral advocacy skills’. Praised by clients as being ‘a superstar in oral argumentation’, Deanne Maynard delivers ‘efficient and effective representation during all stages of litigation’. Partnering with ‘superb’ practice co-chair Joseph Palmore at the Federal Circuit (acting on remand from the US Supreme Court), Maynard secured a unanimous victory for defendant-appellee Sandoz Inc in a dispute with Amgen Inc over the federal 2009 Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. At the Ninth Circuit, Maynard and Brian Matsui were brought in by respondent-appellant Lummi Nation at the appeal stage of a decades-long dispute with S’Klallam tribes over the Lummi’s fishing rights in waters west of Whidbey Island; the duo won a reversal of the district court’s judgment.
Forming a ‘top-notch’ practice, the appellate lawyers at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP are hailed by clients for their strengths in brief writing, ‘unbelievably thorough preparation for oral argument’ and ‘best-in-class appellate advocacy’. Based in New York, practice head Joshua Rosenkranz is ‘simply brilliant’ and ‘an incredibly polished oral advocate’. At the Federal Circuit, the trio of Rosenkranz, Kelsi Corkran and Andrew Silverman led the team on scoring a victory for appellant Oracle in a $8.8bn copyright court battle against Google; with far-reaching implications for the software industry and currently remanded to the district court, the dispute concerns Google’s use of Oracle-owned Java programming code in its Android operating system. At the US Supreme Court, Robert Loeb secured a unanimous win for petitioner Terrence Byrd in Byrd v United States, a case concerning the relationship between car-rental agreements and drivers’ reasonable expectations of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. In another US Supreme Court case, Eric Shumsky ( who is ‘incredibly smart and a fantastic writer’) argued for petitioner Erik Hughes and secured a winning majority vote in proceedings involving statutory interpretation of the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C), also referred to as the 'C-Plea' in federal sentencing procedures. Other recent highlights in the US Supreme Court include scoring a 9-0 victory for respondent Microsoft Corporation in the highly publicized data privacy case of United States v Microsoft Corp, as well as achieving a win for the respondent in Sessions v Dimaya, a judgment upholding the Ninth Circuit's decision that the 'residual clause' relating to the definition of violent crime in the Immigration and Nationality Act is unconstitutionally vague. Based in San Francisco, recently promoted partner Brian Goldman is another name to note.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Housing lawyers with a record of success at all levels of the country’s judicial system, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s team is headed by pre-eminent appellate advocate Kathleen Sullivan in New York. Sullivan led the team on achieving a complete victory for appellant Fairchild Semiconductor in the Federal Circuit, which reversed a prior patent infringement judgment granting $139.8m in damages to Power Integrations. In representing defendant-appellant Samsung Electronics, Sullivan also convinced the New York Appellate Division to reverse a decision ordering Samsung to pay $115m in damages to MPEG LA; the case involved the interpretation of provisions stipulating early termination under a contract licensing TV patents from the appellee. The trio of David Cooper, Rollo Baker and associate Jared Ruocco secured a victory for Postmates Inc. in the New York Appellate Division, which held that the company’s couriers are independent contractors rather than employees. In the case of Wittman v Coty, Inc., before the California Court of Appeal for the Second District, Silicon Valley-based Daniel Bromberg successfully led the defense of global beauty company Coty against claims alleging asbestos exposure resulting from the use of the company’s cosmetic products. New York-based William Adams is also noted. Supreme Court lawyer Christopher Landau joined the Washington DC office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
A ‘litigation powerhouse which is at the very top of the game’, Williams & Connolly LLP’s appellate practice attracts praise for demonstrating ‘excellence at the highest levels of the court system’ and for the fact that it ‘delivers superb results’. Former practice head Kannon Shanmugam departed to become chair of the appellate practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Prior to his departure, Shanmugam led the team on multiple matters before the US Supreme Court. Among these, he represented the petitioner in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v Somers, where he secured a 9-0 reversal of the Ninth Circuit’s prior judgment; the case concerned the scope of application of the anti-retaliation whistleblower protections provided under section 922 of Dodd–Frank. In Dahda v United States — a case questioning whether the federal wiretap statute requires the suppression of evidence obtained as a result of a wiretap order that exceeded the court’s territorial jurisdiction — the US Supreme Court voted 8-0 and sided with the team’s client Los Rovell Dahda. In another US Supreme Court highlight, the team represented respondent ION Geophysical Corporation in the case of WesternGeco v ION, concerning the interpretation of the general damages provision under the Patent Act. In E.F. Transit, Inc. v Cook at the Seventh Circuit, Amy Saharia presented arguments for Indiana transportation service company E.F. Transit, which sought regulatory approval to transport liquor; the Court ruled in favor of the client. Focusing on patent appeals, David Berl successfully represented MedImmune at the Federal Circuit, which dismissed patent invalidation claims submitted by AbbVie. As of February 2019, Supreme Court advocate Lisa Blatt joined from Arnold & Porter, and currently serves as chair of the appellate department. In March 2019, Allison Rushing left the firm to become a judge at the Fourth Circuit.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s appellate practice delivers ‘comprehensive legal advice’. ‘Supremely talented appellate advocate’ Pratik Shah, who heads the appellate team in Washington DC, ‘writes excellent briefs, prepares intensively for oral argument, and presents a case with both eloquence and common sense’. Specializing in Native American law matters, among other areas, Shah was assisted by recently promoted partner James Tysse in securing a victory for the Gun Lake Tribe as respondents in the US Supreme Court’s case of Patchak v Zinke, which dealt with challenges to the Gun Lake Act on separation of powers grounds. Los Angeles-based practice co-chair Rex Heinke — who impresses clients with ‘his scrupulous candor with the court of appeals’ and ‘tremendous experience in handling complex appellate matters’ — successfully led the team in serving as co-counsel to claimant Ernst & Young in Ernst & Young LLP v Morris, a US Supreme Court case concerning the enforceability of arbitration agreements between employers and employees which waive class arbitrations. Other recent work includes achieving a favorable outcome for the Gila River Indian Community as tribal intervenors in proceedings at the Ninth Circuit challenging the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Following a clerkship at the US Supreme Court, counsel Ray Tolentino returned to the Washington DC office in November 2018.
Arnold & Porter’s appellate practice diverse experience. The group is acting for the State of Oklahoma in the highly publicized US Supreme Court’s case of Carpenter v Murphy, which poses the jurisdictional issue of whether the 1866 territorial boundaries of the Creek Nation within the former Indian Territory of eastern Oklahoma currently constitute an 'Indian reservation'; the case was pending at the time of writing. The team argued for petitioner BNSF Railway Company in proceedings against respondent Michael Loos brought before the US Supreme Court, concerning interpretation of the frequently litigated Railroad Retirement Tax Act and its application to employment tax schemes for railroad workers. Securing a victory at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Stanton Jones and newly promoted partner Elisabeth Theodore handled the appellate aspects of the representation of the League of Women Voters in a case striking down Pennsylvania’s congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. At the Texas Court of Appeals, Reeves Anderson and Christopher Odell (based in Denver and Houston, respectively) led on appealing a divorce decree for client Miguel Zaragoza Fuentes. Counsel Anthony Franze and associate Sally Pei are also recommended. Deepening the firm’s appellate expertise at a junior level, four associates have joined the firm. Former practice chair Lisa Blatt departed to Williams & Connolly LLP. Sarah Harris accepted the position of deputy assistant attorney general within the Office of Legal Counsel.
Goodwin’s team has ‘a truly in-depth understanding of appellate law and a close familiarity with the procedures applicable at the courts of appeals’. Practice co-chair William Jay attracts commendation from clients for his ability to ‘cut to the chase and articulate clear arguments’, as well as for being ‘one of the very few appellate attorneys who have mastered the intersection between technology, patent law and appellate procedures’. Jay and recently promoted partner David Zimmer (Boston) secured a victory for petitioner Wescley Pereira at the US Supreme Court, which sided with Pereira in adopting an immigrant-friendly interpretation of the removal provisions under the Immigration and Nationality Act. In another highlight at the US Supreme Court, the trio of Jay, co-chair Kevin Martin and Brian Burgess led the team on representing the Puget Sound Indian Tribes as respondents in Washington v United States, a case involving the interpretation of a set of historic treaties protecting the tribes’ fishing rights.
Hogan Lovells US LLP's practice is 'outstanding' and 'maintains an excellent reputation with the appellate courts, which is backed up by its exceptional work product and great advocacy skills'. Famously, the team argued in multiple rounds of litigation against President Trump’s executive orders restricting travel from five predominantly Muslim countries: recently promoted partner Colleen Roh Sinzdak successfully defended the district court’s preliminary injunction in an appeal at the Ninth Circuit, while Neal Katyal argued the case for the respondents in Trump v Hawaii before the US Supreme Court, which voted 5-4 in ruling that President Trump had the legal authority to suspend the entry of aliens granted to him under the Immigration and Nationality Act. In another US Supreme Court highlight, the team secured a victory for the petitioners in Epic Systems Corp. v Lewis, where the Court affirmed the right of employers to enter into individualized arbitration agreements with their employees. Assisted by Sinzdak and senior associate Mitchell Reich, practice co-chair Catherine Stetson ('an impressive attorney who counters the opponents' points and questions with devastating succinctness') is representing petitioner Gilberto Garza in a US Supreme Court appeal against the State of Idaho, a currently pending case concerning the application of the presumption of innocence to decisions taken by criminal defendants’ attorneys to enforce an appeal waiver. In a number of appeals before the Eleventh Circuit, Stetson successfully defended biopharmaceutical company Amgen against product liability claims. Jessica Ellsworth is leading on the defense of Ford Motor Company and its subsidiary Ford Global Technologies in two sets of patent proceedings at the Federal Circuit. Recently promoted partner Sean Marotta is highly recommended. Frederick Liu accepted the position of assistant to the US Solicitor General.
Working closely with the firm’s specialized regulatory practices, the cutting-edge work of King & Spalding LLP’s appellate department ranges from life sciences and healthcare to intellectual property, energy and environmental law. In ESI Energy v FERC, a case challenging a decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before the DC Circuit, practice co-chair Ashley Parrish argued for intervenor for the respondent West Deptford Energy. Parish led the team on successfully petitioning the US Supreme Court in Wolfe v Virginia, which concerned the right to use alleged vindictive prosecution as ground for challenging the constitutional authority of a state to prosecute. Bobby Burchfield led on representing the petitioner in CNH Industrial N.V. v Reese, where the US Supreme Court affirmed that collective bargaining agreements must be interpreted according to ordinary principles of contract law. In a case concerning the interpretation of the False Claims Act, co-chair Jeffrey Bucholtz convinced the Second Circuit to reverse the federal district court’s ruling in favor of client Allergan. Bucholtz also argued the case for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an Engle progeny case at the Fourth District Court of Appeal in Florida. In April 2018, Merritt McAlister left to pursue an academic career.
With expertise in regulatory, constitutional and statutory matters, MoloLamken LLP's 'top-notch' practice focuses on appeals in the realm of energy regulation, patents, copyrights, telecoms, and sovereign immunity. In the case of Rubin v Islamic Republic of Iran, practice head Jeffrey Lamken ('an amazing tactician') led the team on representing the respondent before the US Supreme Court, which voted 8-0 in siding with Iran and upholding a narrow construction of the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. In another US Supreme Court highlight, Lamken argued for the respondents in Frank v Gaos, a currently pending case addressing the propriety of 'cy-près' class action settlements. In proceedings concerning the scope of application of the Clean Water Act, the group represented Dominion Energy and convinced the Fourth Circuit to reverse a prior judgement issued in favor of plaintiff-appellee Sierra Club, thereby finding that Dominion is not liable for the alleged unauthorized 'discharge of any pollutant' into navigable waters. At the Second Circuit, Robert Kry ('a great writer') successfully represented Turkish company Sistem Mühendislik Insaat Sanayi Ve Ticaret, A.Ş. in seeking to enforce an $11m arbitral award against the Kyrgyz Republic. Michael Pattillo and associate Sarah Newman are also noted. In August 2018, Eric Posner joined in Chicago as of counsel.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
With an appellate practice split across Washington DC, Houston and San Francisco, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles sophisticated appeals in state and federal courts nationwide. In two cases concerning the enforcement of arbitration agreements, Bryan Killian and J. Warren Rissier secured a victory for Expedia’s subsidiary HomeAway as appellant at the Fifth Circuit, which unanimously reversed the district court’s judgments and affirmed the appellee’s obligation to arbitrate threshold arbitrability questions. Randall Levine led the team on scoring a win for appellant TDY and Allegheny Technologies in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERLA) case at the Ninth Circuit. Washington DC-based duo Levine and David Salmons successfully defended a gas company against tort claims related to a gas leak. William Peterson (Houston) and Thomas Peterson (San Francisco) are also noted. In June 2018, former co-head Allyson Ho departed to join the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
O'Melveny & Myers LLP
O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s department is headed by Jonathan Hacker, who successfully led the team in serving as co-counsel to defendant in Global Re v Century Indemnity Co., a case in which the Second Circuit and the New York Court of Appeals concluded that ordinary rules of contract interpretation apply to reinsurance contracts. Assisted by Washington DC-based Deanna Rice, Anton Metlitsky in New York was appointed by the US Supreme Court as amicus curiae to brief and argue in support of the DC Circuit’s prior judgment in Lucia v Securities and Exchange Commission, a case concerning the constitutional status of administrative law judges of the SEC. Walter Dellinger is noted. The firm’s appellate capabilities were bolstered through the addition of US Supreme Court practitioner Jeffrey Fisher, who joined as special counsel in April 2018.
Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber
Led by founding partner and practice head Roy Englert, Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber’s stable of appellate lawyers has a combined record of 51 arguments at the US Supreme Court. At the Second Circuit, Englert argued for appellant Irving Picard, a trustee of Bernard Madoff’s non-operational investment firm; the currently pending appeal seeks to increase the amount of funds available for the compensation of victims of the Ponzi scheme by recouping proceeds from overseas. Larry Robbins, Mark Stancil and Donald Burke, and recently promoted partner Lee Turner Friedman, are also noted. In September 2018, senior counsel Michael Bromwich departed to found his own strategic consulting firm.
Bracewell LLP’s practice handles multiple high-profile appellate cases at the Texas Supreme Court and courts of appeals throughout the state. At the Fourth Circuit, Houston-based practice chair Warren Harris and Yvonne Ho successfully defended appellee KBR, Inc. against $100m-worth of claims by thousands of service members and civilian employees alleging injuries resulting from KBR’s waste management services at military bases across Iraq and Afghanistan. In a case currently pending before the Texas Supreme Court, Harris also served as lead counsel acting for crude petroleum and natural gas company Carlton Energy in a dispute with appellant Gene Phillips involving breach of and tortious interference with contracts regarding a gas lease. Other noteworthy clients include Westlake Chemical Corporation, Weatherford International, and Prosperity Bancshares. Jeffrey Oldham left to serve as general counsel to Texas governor Greg Abbott.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP regularly handles the appellate stage in matters in which the group is already conducting trial court litigation. In the antitrust enforcement case of Ohio v American Express Co., the team successfully defended the respondent against claims brought before the US Supreme Court; Evan Chesler presented arguments and convinced the Court to reject antitrust challenges to American Express’ anti-steering provisions contained in its merchant contracts. In a highlight at the New York State Court of Appeals, the trio of Richard Clary, Michael Reynolds and Lauren Moskowitz secured a victory for Credit Suisse Securities USA by achieving the dismissal of claims brought pursuant to the Martin Act, a New York anti-fraud law. Antony Ryan and Gary Bornstein are also key figures. In September 2018, former judge Katherine Forrest re-joined the firm.
Greenberg Traurig LLP’s dedicated appellate practice is split across 29 litigation centers throughout the country, and is jointly chaired by Elliot Scherker (Miami), Mark Solomons (Washington DC), Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick (New York) and Susan Phillips Read (Albany). Tallahassee-based Barry Richard and his team convinced the Fifth District Court of Appeal of Florida to reverse a $36m summary judgment for securities fraud entered against the firm’s clients Lighting Science Group Corporation and Pegasus Capital Advisors; the ongoing case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings. At the Eleventh Circuit, Tampa-based duo David Weinstein and Christopher Torres led on securing a second victory for the defendant-appellees in Williams v Mosaic Fertilizer, a toxic tort suit alleging the exacerbation of medical conditions as a result of the emittance of toxic substances from Mosaic’s factory. Chicago-based Gregory Ostfeld and Dale Wainwright are also recommended.
Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C.
Acting across a broad spectrum of practice areas in the appeals courts, Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C.’s department has a strong track record at the US Supreme Court, where it has presented 53 arguments on subjects such as antitrust, securities regulation, and federal jurisdiction and pre-emption, among others. David Frederick is a key figure and has made arguments in more than 100 appeals at various levels. In November 2018, Frederick argued for the respondents in Apple v Pepper, a pending case at the US Supreme Court which concerns antitrust laws related to third-party re-sellers and centers on the application of the so-called 'Illinois Brick doctrine' regarding the standing of indirect consumers of products under Article III of the US Constitution. January 2019 saw Frederick appear on behalf of Albrecht in another currently pending, high-profile highlight at the US Supreme Court - Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v Albrecht - a case concerning the workings of the FDA and when the agency’s actions may insulate drug manufacturers from state tort suits through the 'impossibility pre-emption'. Scott Angstreich and Aaron Panner are also key names to note.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP’s appellate practice is jointly chaired by San Francisco-based Paul Cane and Washington DC-based Stephen Kinnaird. Assisted by associate Sarah Besnoff, Kinnaird appeared on behalf of Jacobs Engineering in Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. v ConAgra Foods, Inc. before the Nebraska Supreme Court, which affirmed the district court’s judgment awarding Jacobs Engineering $108.9m of settlement payments for wrongful deaths resulting from ConAgra’s negligent plant explosion. In a shareholder suit at the Ninth Circuit, Los Angeles-based William Sullivan convinced the panel to unanimously affirm a prior judgment entered in favor of William Weidner, the former President of casino operator Las Vegas Sands. John Phillips (San Francisco) and Yar Chaikovsky (Palo Alto) are also noted.
Proskauer Rose LLP’s appellate practice has deep expertise in commercial litigation, labor and employment, entertainment, and sports, among other areas. With a sterling reputation built upon success in handling all aspects of ERISA litigation, practice co-head Myron Rumeld led the team on scoring a victory for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as respondent before New York’s First Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, which dismissed the claims of plaintiff Edward Hughey regarding pension plan benefits. Co-head of the department Mark Harris led the representation of former Hunton & Williams LLP patent lawyer Robert Schulman in United States v Klein (Schulman), an insider trading case at the Second Circuit. At the Eight Circuit, the group represented defendant-appellee in Meiners v Wells Fargo & Co., et al., an ERISA class action claiming breaches of fiduciary duties. Acting for its longstanding client, the National Hockey League, the team secured a win at the Seventh Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of former player Derek Boogaard.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP’s team is ‘extremely competent’, ‘knows all the angles of appellate advocacy’ and is highly recommended for ‘working seamlessly with the trial team and the in-house team to coordinate strategy not only for the appeal, but also at trial level’. Based in Pittsburgh, practice chair Kim Watterson is ‘highly responsive and strategic’ and ‘presents arguments in a manner that could be used to teach lawyers how to argue an appeal’. ‘Very reliable’ Kasey Curtis (Los Angeles) possesses ‘excellent legal and negotiation skills’ and is ‘very clear in his legal analysis’. Raymond Cardozo is also highly recommended. Former Solicitor General for the District of Columbia Todd Kim joined the Washington DC office in January 2018.
Headed by Washington DC-based Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, Ropes & Gray LLP’s appellate practice is based on interdepartmental collaboration, and particularly focuses on bankruptcy, private clients, patents, securities and commercial litigation. Demonstrating this integrated approach, the group convinced the Eleventh Circuit to rule in favor of client LabMD, a now-defunct cancer testing company, in LabMD v Federal Trade Commission, a closely watched data privacy case challenging the authority of the FTC to enforce rules about how personal information is handled. At New York’s First Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Gregg Weiner defended German American Capital Corporation, a lending entity of Deutsche Bank, and secured a unanimous dismissal of claims brought by borrowers asserting a deliberate outstanding debt misrepresentation under the parties’ loan agreements. In another highlight at the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Hallward-Driemeier and Robert Fischler filed an amicus brief on behalf of Protect Democracy in Zervos v Trump, a defamation case against President Trump.
The appellate attorneys at Selendy & Gay have significant experience in representing clients before the state courts of appeals and the federal circuit courts. In March 2019, Caitlin Halligan joined the firm from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she most recently scored a victory for the respondents in Congel v Malfitano, a high-profile case before the New York Court of Appeals concerning the standards for dissolution of partnerships under New York law. Halligan also has significant experience in the US Supreme Court, having served as of counsel in more than 45 matters. Lena Konanova is also a key contact.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Paul Curnin and Jonathan Youngwood jointly head the appellate practice at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, which is primarily based in New York. Assisted by senior counsel Janet Gochman on the brief, Youngwood convinced the Second Circuit to affirm a district court’s dismissal with prejudice of a securities class action brought against the firm’s client La Quinta Holdings and other parties. Led by Joe McLaughlin at the New York Court of Appeals, the group secured a victory for the respondents in the insurance case Ambac Assurance Corp. v Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Acting for client Best Buy at the federal District Court of Minnesota, McLaughlin and George Wang led on defending a decision issued by the Eight Circuit, denying class certification in a securities fraud class action. In September 2018, Brooke Cucinella joined from the Southern District of New York.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP houses one of the premier appellate practices in the country, which is coordinated by Palo Alto-based Brendan Cullen. At the Second Circuit, Robert Giuffra successfully argued the appeal for Goldman Sachs in a securities class action. The group is also currently representing Goldman Sachs in another high-profile appeal at the Second Circuit reviewing the certification of a class of investors suing the client. At the New York State Supreme Court, Marc De Leeuw and Jeffrey Scott led a team in scoring a victory for key client Barclays in BDC Finance LLC v Barclays Bank PLC, in a case involving breach-of-contract claims raised by BDC. Richard Pepperman is also a key figure.
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Covering a wide variety of matters, Vinson & Elkins LLP’s practice is jointly chaired by Dallas-based Thomas Leatherbury and Houston-based Marie Yeats, and has strong expertise in the energy sector, environmental affairs, regulatory issues, mass torts, and intellectual property. Leatherbury led the team on securing a victory for Herring Bancorp in a dispute before the Texas Supreme Court over the redemption of preferred shares held by the opposing party as part of the bank’s conversion into a 'Subchapter S Corporation'. Yeats and Michael Heidler (Austin) successfully represented Anadarko Petroleum in a $100m insurance coverage appeal against Lloyd's of London before the Texas Supreme Court; the Court reversed a judgment of the Ninth District Court of Appeals in Beaumont and confirmed that Anadarko may recover its defense costs arising out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. At the US Supreme Court, Washington DC-based duo John Elwood and Jeremy Marwell successfully served as co-counsel to the petitioner in White v United States concerning the interpretation of the Speedy Trial Act; the Court sided with White in rejecting the government’s position and remanded the case to the Sixth Circuit. Sandra Rodriguez departed to accept an in-house position.
Headquartered in New York, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s seasoned appellate lawyers handle litigation in areas such as intellectual property, finance, taxation and business torts, among others. Practice head Gregory Silbert represented appellee Hungarian State Railways in an appeal challenging US jurisdiction in a case brought by a group of Hungarian Holocaust survivors before the Seventh Circuit, which sided with the client and dismissed the case on international comity grounds. At the Federal Circuit, Silicon Valley-based Edward Reines secured a victory for Life Technologies in a patent dispute with Promega over gene-testing technology. At the Eleventh Circuit, Bruce Rich led on scoring a win for clients Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Sage Publications in a copyright infringement dispute with Georgia State University. David Singh, Steven Reiss and Adam Banks are also key figures.
Wiggin and Dana LLP’s highly accomplished appellate group is primarily located in New England, but handles appeals across the whole country. Led by practice head Jonathan Freiman (Connecticut), the team is representing the government of Germany and a consortium of Berlin-based museums in proceedings before the DC Circuit regarding the allegedly coercive sale of a medieval art German collection. In Lufthansa Technik AG v Astronics Advanced Electronic, a dispute over competing patents at the Federal Circuit, Freiman and Benjamin Daniels secured a victory for the appellee. At the Connecticut Supreme Court, Jeffrey Babbin is acting for the RiverStone Group in an insurance dispute with the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company. Other highlights included Babbin’s successful representation of the Doctor’s Associates in a case at the Seventh Circuit. Aaron Bayer and newly promoted partner Tadhg Dooley prevailed in convincing the Connecticut Supreme Court to rule in favor of the Town of Newtown in the case of Hull v Newtown, an appeal raising governmental immunity issues.
Wiley Rein LLP
Excelling in cross-practice partnerships, the appellate group at Wiley Rein LLP handles high-profile appeals in the fields of banking regulation, insurance, telecoms, torts and regulatory matters. Led by practice head Claire Evans, the team assisted the United States Telecom Association as intervenor-respondent in proceedings at the Eight Circuit, regarding the interpretation of a broadband deployment order issued in 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission. At the Federal Circuit, the group is representing the American Bankers Association in proceedings challenging the interpretation of the 2015 Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act. At the DC Circuit, Evans and Caleb Burns acted for the American Action Network on a statutory interpretation suit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. Richard Simpson is another name to note.
Winston & Strawn LLP
Winston & Strawn LLP’s lawyers combine appellate skills with substantive expertise in areas such as patent law, pre-emption, securities, and constitutional law. ‘Brilliant’ practice chair Linda Coberly (Chicago) is ‘a force to be reckoned with’ and ‘very easy to work with’. Coberly led on securing a victory for the Fiduciary Trust International of California in a dispute against Tower Park Properties at the Ninth Circuit; the bankruptcy appeal raised procedural issues and involved interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code. Washington DC-based vice-chair Steffen Johnson and Michael Elkin (New York) convinced the Fourth Circuit to reverse a $25m copyright infringement jury verdict against client Cox Communications, which was sued by BMG Rights Management over illegal music downloads; a new trial was ordered due to flawed jury instructions. In a false advertising case at the Sixth Circuit, Johnson partnered up with Chicago-based Ronald Rothstein and successfully defended The J.M. Smucker Company and Big Heart Pet Brands against claims brought by Wysong Corporation. Elizabeth Papez (Washington DC) and Matthew Carter(Chicago) are also noted.