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Appellate

LeClairRyan’s appellate team has decades of experience handling all types of appellate matters – from commercial litigation and employment litigation to federal and state appeals, administrative appeals, and appellate mediation.

Members of our team are strategically positioned to provide our clients with legal representation and counsel of varying degrees during the appellate process. With more than two decades of experience in the New York State judiciary, one team member most recently served as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the Second Judicial Department. In addition to offering clients this invaluable insider perspective, our team is composed of veteran appellate lawyers who began their careers as law clerks to state and federal judges, where they obtained an up-close understanding of how the appellate system is administered and how appellate judges decide cases.

Our attorneys skillfully apply their knowledge of the appellate process, coupled with real-world tactical experience, to create appellate strategies that are cost effective and consistent with our clients’ business goals and objectives.

Our distinct strengths include:

  • Determining whether there are appealable issues, and if so, developing an appellate strategy
  • Ensuring compliance with each appellate court’s specific rules and procedures
  • Preparing appellate documents, including notices of appeal and pre-argument statements, designating pertinent portions of the trial court record, and compiling official appellate records
  • Drafting and editing appellate briefs and motions
  • Preparing oral arguments
  • Conducting moot courts to prepare for oral arguments before the appellate court

Our team has successfully handled cases before state and federal appellate courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, regulatory bodies, and government agencies. We have the skill, qualifications and experience to advocate on behalf of our clients’ interests and pursue favorable resolutions at every level of judicial and administrative proceedings.

Representative matters:

  • Represented corporate lenders in state court action against corporate borrowers to recover loan proceeds based on fraud and negligent misrepresentation in audited financials. Successfully obtained reversal from highest court in New York of the intermediate court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ fraud claims based upon a theory of reasonable reliance upon written representations, in lieu of the necessity for plaintiffs to conduct their own due diligence.
  • Represented physician in state court action against medical group for breach of an employment contract. Successfully obtained affirmance of judgment in favor of plaintiff, which severed the illegal provisions and enforced the remaining provisions of the agreement based upon plaintiff’s termination without just cause.
  • Represented large national insurance company against law firm for professional malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty arising from the firm’s assisting a nonparty insurer to establish a competing business. Prevailed in preserving claims for legal malpractice based on defendant’s handling of three benefit fund claims as claims counsel for both plaintiff and the nonparty insurer.
  • Represented state telecommunications regulatory agency on appeal of issues from interconnection arbitration conducted under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Successfully prevailed on numerous issues, including liquidated damages, mixed bundle pricing and various rate issues.
  • Represented large insurance company in appeal involving whether carrier had duty to indemnify $10 million settlement between insured and underlying plaintiff. Successfully reversed district court decision holding that carrier had such a duty and establishing troubling standard in jurisdiction.
  • Represented cable franchise authority on appeal involving novel interpretation of Cable Act. Successfully persuaded appellate court to reverse district court decision that would have cost client millions of dollars in lost revenue.
  • Represented trade association in challenge to Environmental Protection Agency guidance document regarding penalties under Clean Air Act.
  • Represented large financial institution against claims arising under Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, retaliatory discharge, and state law. Successfully persuaded appellate court to affirm vast majority of trial court’s decision.
  • Represented multinational car company against state taxing agency. Successfully obtained reversal of trial court decision and remand with instructions to enter judgment for $1.8 million in client’s favor.
  • Represented largest U.S. newspaper publisher on appeal of trial court’s dismissal of libel and invasion of privacy claims against television station and reporter. Successfully persuaded appellate court to affirm trial court’s decision.
  • Represented largest dairy operation in Northeast in defense of Clean Water Act citizen suit. Claims against client included statutory Clean Water Act violations as well as toxic tort claims. All claims were dismissed, and attorneys’ fees were awarded to prevailing defendant. Traditionally, only prevailing plaintiffs receive awards of attorneys’ fees under fee shifting provisions of Clean Water Act.
  • Represented group of handicapped users of transit system in action against transit authority for violations of paratransit regulations of Americans with Disabilities Act. Lower court issued summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs. Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment decision, and district court awarded attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs under Section 1983 of Civil Rights Act.
  • Represented real estate developer in successful appeal to highest court in New York of intermediate court order directing supplemental environmental review of project under New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). Court opinion emphasized the deference that must be given to public agencies making determinations under SEQRA statute and directed project to progress without additional environmental review.
  • Represented waste disposal company in challenge to Environmental Protection Agency rules regarding air emissions from hazardous waste treatment.
  • Represented corporation in obtaining reversal of lower court order and establishing that representative plaintiff in shareholders’ derivative suit must be free of any conflicts of interest to continue in that role. Appellate court found that putative representative plaintiff had too many conflicts with corporation to act as derivative plaintiff.
  • Represented foreign company in obtaining affirmance of order holding that New York State courts could not exercise in rem jurisdiction over stock certificates held in fungible bulk at New York State depository.
  • Represented utility companies in appeal of dismissal of federal common law nuisance claims brought by states and land trust alleging harm from climate change and seeking injunction to control emissions of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by utilities.
  • Represented company in constitutional challenge of Superfund law; trial court dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. Appellate court reversed dismissal, concluding challenge was cognizable in federal district court.
  • Represented trade associations in challenge to Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas permitting rules.

Contact

  • 540.510.3055
  • 804.783.7595