We have decades of successful experience with appeals in federal and state courts and agencies, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second and Seventh Circuits, the New York Court of Appeals, state appellate courts, and the Benefits Review Board of the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
We concentrate in appeals because we consider each case unique and we like learning, and because we enjoy and are good at rigorous analysis, thorough research, and persuasive writing. Our appellate matters have included securities fraud, breach of contract, pension (ERISA), estates, defamation, nuisance, equitable distribution, personal injury and professional malpractice on the civil side and post-conviction relief on the criminal side. In representing appellants, we’ve had success in vacating dismissals and obtaining reversals or modifications of trial court orders. We’re equally proud of our record in representing appellees, defending their trial court or appellate court victories.
Obviously, we could not and do not guarantee results. Statistically, the odds are stacked heavily against changing trial court rulings. There are many procedural and decisional rules that support deferring to the trial court in doubtful cases. We just do our best to see to it that a client who’s entitled to win does so.
We don’t think there’s any “secret” or “trick” to being a good appellate lawyer. We view it as our responsibility, first, to understand the relevant facts completely; secondly, to find the law that fits best with those facts to make the most persuasive case; and finally, to put that case into words in an effective and efficient way.
Before making an offer of representation in an appeal, we try to gather enough information and do enough preliminary research to satisfy ourselves that an appeal would not be frivolous. When this requires a substantial amount of time, we may ask for a “file review” fee prior to making an offer. But we would never charge a potential client for a “file review” without a prior express agreement to that effect.
We have worked successfully on appeals (and motions) with other attorneys, especially those in and around New York City and Chicago in small offices with complicated, time-consuming cases.