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Representing New and Existing Clients in State and Federal Appeals at the Intermediate and Highest Levels

At KDV, our appellate attorneys have decades of experience handling complex appellate matters at the state and federal levels. Our firm’s appellate cases have changed the law and established heavily-cited precedent, and our appellate attorneys’ experience extends all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We are admitted to practice before the First, Second, Third, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, and can be admitted pro hac vice in others.

We represent appellants and respondents on appeal. In addition to representing our existing clients at the appellate level, we regularly serve as appellate counsel for litigants seeking to challenge and affirm trial verdicts rendered in cases handled by other law firms.

Making Strategic Decisions About Filing Appeals

A significant part of our firm’s appellate practice involves pre-appeal analysis and consultation. If you receive an unfavorable trial verdict, this alone does not necessarily mean that filing an appeal is your best option. There are numerous factors to consider—including the legal merits and procedural stance of each case, but also whether appealing makes economic sense.

We do not pursue every appeal that comes our way. When we do, we make sure our clients make the decision to file an appeal understanding the possible risks, rewards, and costs. Even when an appeal has been against our client, we assess other options, such as settlement or business arrangements. Appealing a trial verdict can be expensive, and the outcome is never certain. An unsuccessful appellate decision could result in a new precedent that harms the company’s legal position in future cases. On the other hand, failing to pursue an appeal when warranted could lead to an unfavorable trial decision carrying precedential weight as well. There is no single “right” answer, and each case requires a detailed analysis of the particular facts and circumstances involved.

When helping our clients make informed decisions about appeals, we focus our analysis on determining what approach offers the most value. Is the trial verdict untenable? Could an unfavorable appellate decision have results that are even more detrimental to the client’s cause? Even if an appeal is economically justified, is moving forward the right approach given countervailing considerations? Is the case the right vehicle to establish a new precedent on a critical constitutional or statutory issue worth the economic costs involved? If an appeal to the intermediate court is unsuccessful, is the client prepared to go to the highest court in the jurisdiction—and is this likely to produce a favorable result? Is the record in the trial complete, or do any key facts rest on shaky evidentiary ground. These are just some of the questions we help our clients consider.

Appellate Attorneys for All Types of Cases Under State and Federal Law

Our attorneys handle appeals involving issues within our firm’s core practice areas as well as those involving constitutional and other issues. We represent individuals and companies in all industries on appeal in matters including (but not limited to):

  • Commercial Disputes
  • Consumer and Commercial Financial Services
  • Corporate Director and Officer Liability
  • Corporate Shareholder Rights
  • Cybersecurity Breach Liability
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Environmental, Toxic, and Mass Torts
  • First Amendment and Other Constitutional Rights
  • Hospitality, Entertainment, and Gaming Disputes
  • Insurance Coverage and Regulation
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Internet and E-Commerce Liability
  • Maritime and Admiralty Law
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate Law

Regardless of the substantive issue (or issues) involved, we take the same approach to bring or defend against every appeal. We work closely with our client to arrive at a reasoned decision, and we work to ensure that pursuing an appeal is the best option available in light of the circumstances at hand.

Strategic Counsel with Deep Experience in All Aspects of Appellate Practice

The appellate attorneys at KDV have deep experience in all aspects of appellate practice. Whenever possible, our appellate attorneys begin their work during the trial process. By working with trial counsel, our appellate attorneys are able to assist with ensuring that issues are appropriately preserved for appeal, and they are able to begin proactively preparing for post-trial practice in the event that they need to file an appeal appears imminent. Our appellate attorneys’ practice also includes:

  • Filing post-trial motions for new trial, remittitur, judgment as a matter of law, and other forms of relief
  • Formulating appellate strategies in state and federal cases
  • Drafting appellate petitions and briefs
  • Drafting amicus curiae briefs
  • Arguing appellate cases in state and federal courts at the intermediate and highest levels

In appropriate circumstances, our appellate attorneys will also assist with or assume responsibility for appeals initiated by other law firms. Often, it will become evident that an appeal that has been initiated requires outside help. We have significant experience working with clients and other law firms in this scenario. When appropriate, we will seek to negotiate post-trial settlements as well, whether in conjunction with or as a precursor to formally initiating an appeal.

Our Appellate Practice Focuses on What is Best for Our Clients and Their Communities

Ultimately, when deciding whether to file or resist an appeal, the focus needs to be on what is best for the client and the client’s community—whether that community is a particular industry, a particular class of people, or the public at large. 

If you are considering an appeal, or if your firm needs help with a client’s appeal, we encourage you to get in touch with our experienced team. Our appellate attorneys can work with you to conduct a thorough analysis and reach a reasoned decision. We can help you weigh all relevant factors and make a decision with your best interest in mind.

Speak with an Appellate Attorney at KDV

Do you have questions about filing a state or federal appeal? If so, the appellate attorneys at KDV can help you make the right choice about how (and if) to move forward. With multiple office locations across the country, we handle appeals nationwide. For more information, call 844-860-1010 or tell us how we can help online today.

ATTORNEY NAMEPOSITIONOFFICE
Partner
Co-Chair of Professional Liability Practice Group
San Francisco, California
Partner
Co-Chair of the General Liability Defense Practice Group
New York, New York , Hackensack, New Jersey
Partner
Co-Chair of Financial Services Practice Group
Chicago, Illinois
Partner
Co-Chair of Insurance Coverage & Litigation Practice Group
New York, New York
Attorney New York, New York
Attorney Hackensack, New Jersey
Attorney Orlando, Florida
Co-Managing Partner - Philadelphia Office
Chair of Consumer Financial Services Practice Group
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Partner New York, New York
Partner
Co-Chair of Professional Liability Practice Group
New York, New York , Woodbury, New York
Attorney Hackensack, New Jersey
Attorney New York, New York

Featured Appellate Cases by KDV Attorneys

  • Won at trial a First Amendment case against the California Attorney General, enjoining threatened draconian action against a nonprofit religiously-based organization. Though the decision was reversed by a split decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court has accepted the case for consideration. The case hinges on the constitutional right to anonymous advocacy in support of deeply-held religious beliefs and is currently pending in the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Preserved a summary judgment in favor of a client in a blanket bond coverage case with $99 million in damages in Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court.*
  • After winning summary judgment for a major insurance brokerage firm in a warranty insurance case brought by buyers of wind turbine generators who had losses of $65 million, the firm prevailed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in upholding the trial court’s dismissal.*
  • Prevailing in the trial court, the California Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court, the firm established that a reinsurer owes no duty to a policyholder that the company it reinsures.*
  • The First Department reversed the judgment and reinstated the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, which entitled the plaintiff (our client) to recover over $1 million in professional service fees under the contract.* 
  • Affirming grant of motion for judgment on the pleadings, ruling that the statute of limitations expired on Plaintiff’s claim for legal malpractice arising from criminal representation.
  • The firm represented a defendant in a federal court case in which plaintiff alleged breach of a margin loan agreement relating to futures and options trading. KDV filed a counterclaim on the client’s behalf alleging that plaintiff and its representative had engaged in unauthorized trading. The firm prevailed at trial but the court reduced our damages by 30% for failure to mitigate. Plaintiff appealed and we cross-appealed. The Seventh Circuit held that it was error for the court to reduce our client’s damages. As a result, our client received 100% of his out-of-pocket losses, plus attorneys’ fees and pre- and post-judgment interest–increasing judgment in our client’s favor from less than $2 million to approximately $3 million.
  • Court found an insurer with a paper title to a salvaged vehicle was not liable for owner’s negligent use of vehicle — affirming summary judgment entered on the first day of trial where the jury ultimately returned a verdict of $162 million against remaining defendants.
  • Summary judgment in favor of insurer and thereby avoiding liability for a $19 million consent judgment entered against the insured.
  • The Illinois Appellate Court, First District affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of the insurer involving a commercial general liability dispute based upon application of the knowing violation exclusion.
  • Secured a reversal of trial court’s dismissal of extra work claim, which allowed client’s breach of contract claim of $10 million to proceed.
  • Court of Appeal affirmed the granting of summary judgment in a legal malpractice case, finding that the attorney defendant owed no legal duty to an alleged beneficiary of an decedent.
  • Won motion to reconsider, vacating the appellate court’s original decision and reversing trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss bad faith action. In doing so, made positive new law regarding procedural a issue of remittiturs, which in this case sent the underlying liability case back to trial on damages and allowed our client – then faced with a run-away damages verdict and a bad faith action for extracontractual damages- – to reset the underlying liability case for potential negotiation.
  • Court upheld summary judgment in consolidated appeals in class action under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) on proper identification of creditor in collection letter. Precedental decision.
  • Trial court granted summary judgment dismissing professional liability and breach of contract claims against client architects (defendants) on ground claims were time barred upheld on appeal – and resulting in dismissal and abandonment of over $5 million claims.

*Litigated at a prior firm.

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