winning appeals



Appeals are different from trials. Years of litigation and weeks of trial must be boiled down to a few select legal issues compellingly argued in a 50-page brief and no more than 10-30 minutes of oral argument. Dorsey has a long-standing reputation for effectively and successfully doing just that in state and federal appellate courts across the country, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Our appellate attorneys include veteran appellate practitioners, former appellate judges, adjunct appellate advocacy professors, former appellate law clerks, and officers of appellate bar associations. The perspective and experience offered by Dorsey’s appellate practitioners, together with the outstanding trial skills of the firm’s lawyers and deep firm-wide knowledge, combine to craft effective litigation strategies that extend from the filing of the complaint all the way through highest level of appeal, if necessary. Clients also retain Dorsey as appellate counsel at the post-trial or appellate stage of a case handled by another firm below, where we work collaboratively with trial counsel.  

Our ability to help clients develop and execute an effective appellate strategy extends to all phases of the appeal: 

Merits Briefing and Oral Argument + -
Petitions for Discretionary Review + -
Amicus Briefs + -
District Court Strategy and Appeal Assessment + -


Supreme Court of the United States

  • Secured a unanimous decision from the United States Supreme Court after successfully petitioning the Court for a writ of certiorari on behalf of a foreign state-owned railway regarding the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act’s commercial activity exception. OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs, 136 S. Ct. 390 (2015).
  • Successfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari and secured a unanimous decision in our client’s favor on a preemption issue. National Meat Association v. Harris, 132 S. Ct. 965 (2012).

U.S. Courts of Appeals

  • Eighth Circuit affirmance of dismissal on behalf of broker dealer against putative class of nationwide investors. Luis v. RBC Capital Markets, LLC, 984 F.3d 575 (8th Cir. 2020).
  • Ninth Circuit vacatur of district court’s dismissal of client excess insurer’s declaratory judgment claim, finding excess insurer could challenge primary insurer’s decision as to how it allocated a settlement against its limit of liability.Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, Nos. 19-55502 & 19-56102, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 39771 (9th Cir. Dec. 18, 2020)
  • Federal Circuit affirmance of dismissal of competitor’s patent infringement claims, obtaining affirmance of judgment finding asserted patent claims ineligible under 35 U.S.C. §101.Simio, LLC v. FlexSim Software Prods., 983 F.3d 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2020).
  • Federal Circuit reversal of adverse summary judgment ruling in false advertising case.Wing Enters. v. Tricam Indus., 829 Fed. Appx. 508 (Fed. Cir. 2020).
  • Ninth Circuit affirmance of dismissal of all claims in relation to a complex film financing arrangement. Liberty City Movie LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 824 Fed. Appx. 505 (9th Cir. 2020)
  • Eighth Circuit affirmance of dismissal on behalf of defendant media organization in defamation suit alleging false statements in connection with news reporting.Nelson Auto Center v. Tegna, Inc., 951 F.3d 952 (8th Cir. 2020).
  • Second Circuit affirmance of dismissal with prejudice of antitrust claims for failure to allege anticompetitive conduct. Charych v. Siriusware, Inc., 790 Fed. Appx. 299 (2d Cir. 2019). 
  • Eighth Circuit affirmance of qui tam action under the False Claims Act.  United States ex rel. Strubbe v. Crawford Cty. Mem’l Hosp., 915 F.3d 1158 (8th Cir. 2019).
  • Federal Circuit reversal of $12 million jury verdict based on claim construction in patent case. Cave Consulting Grp., LLC v. OptumInsight, Inc., 725 Fed. Appx. 988 (Fed. Cir. 2018),
  • Ninth Circuit affirmance of summary judgment in defendant’s favor in qui tam action under the False Claims Act. United States ex rel. Berg v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., 740 Fed. Appx. 535 (9th Cir. 2018).
  • Secured affirmance of dismissal for Care Ambulance Service on immunity from antitrust liability and under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine. AmeriCare MedServices, Inc. v. City of Anaheim, 735 Fed. Appx. 473 (9th Cir. 2018).
  • Successfully prevailed before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Webster v. Caraway, 784 F.3d 1123 (7th Cir. 2015), after securing rehearing en banc, a rarity less likely to occur than having a petition for a writ of certiorari granted by the Supreme Court, per the Seventh Circuit ‘s Practitioner’s Handbook for Appeals.
  • Seventh Circuit affirmance of district court’s dismissal of ERISA case because the insurers had not acted in a “fiduciary capacity.” Larson v. United Healthcare Ins. Co., 723 F.3d 905 (7th Cir. 2013).
  • Second Circuit holding that the suit against the Republic of Peru should be dismissed on grounds of forum non conveniens, notwithstanding the State Department’s contrary position. Figueiredo Ferraz e Engenhario de Projecto Ltda. v. Republic of Peru, 665 F.3d 384 (2d Cir. 2011).
  • Tenth Circuit affirmance of summary judgment ruling for our client on Lanham Act dispute. Water Pik, Inc. v. Med-Systems, Inc., 726 F.3d 1136 (10th Cir. 2013).
  • Third Circuit affirmance of the dismissal of a putative class action on Article III standing grounds. Reilly v. Ceridian Corp., 664 F.3d 38 (3d Cir. 2011).
  • Eighth Circuit affirmance of dismissal of putative class action. E-Shops Corp. v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 678 F.3d 659 (8th Cir. 2012).

State Supreme Courts and Courts of Appeals

  • Represented media clients before Minnesota Supreme Court, which held for the first time that the fair and accurate reporting privilege applies to press reports of official statements by law enforcement agencies, and remanding for new trial on the fair and accurate reporting privilege.  Larson v. Gannett Co., et al., 940 N.W. 2d 120 (Minn. 2020).
  • Affirmance by the Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi, for client Commission for Lawyer Discipline. Cantu v. Comm’n for Lawyer Discipline, No. 13-16-00332-CV, 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 9434, 2020 WL 7064806 (Tex. App. 13th Dist. Dec. 3, 2020).
  • Represented appellant franchisor before the Washington Supreme Court on certified questions regarding interpretation of Washington franchising statute; questions answered in client’s favor. Money Mailer, LLC v. Brewer, 449 P.3d 258 (Wash. 2019).
  • Successful petition to the Colorado Supreme Court, which ordered that the trial court abused its discretion when ordering the petitioner to produce his medical records for in-camera review. In re Gadeco, LLC, 415 P.3d 323 (Colo. 2018).
  • Minnesota Court of Appeals’ affirmance of constitutionality of Minnesota statute allowing for the crossing or paralleling of railroad rights-of-way by utilities. In re Petition by Qwest Corp., 918 N.W.2d 578 (Minn. App. 2018).
  • Secured a unanimous decision from the Washington Supreme Court in successful petition that the Court of Appeals did not give the Washington State Department of Health sufficient deference in its interpretation of the relevant regulatory language for the process for obtaining a certificate of need for an additional ambulatory surgical facility. Overlake Hostp. Ass’n v. Dep’t of Health, 239 P.3d 1095 (Wash. 2010).

Amicus Briefs

  • Filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops supporting a stay of execution in a capital case, which was granted.Gutierrez v. Saenz, No. 19A1052 (U.S. Jun. 16, 2020).
  • Represented the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation on amicus briefs filed to the Supreme Court of the United States to support petitioner at both the petition and merits stages in case involving the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The Court concurred with and acknowledged the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation’s amicus brief in its unanimous opinion. Sturgeon v. Frost, 136 S. Ct. 1061, Sup. Ct. No. 14-1209 (Mar. 22, 2016).
  • Filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on the merits to support Respondents in Bowman v. Monsanto, No. 11-796 (Sup. Ct.). The Court delivered a unanimous opinion for Respondent, consistent with our client’s interests.
  • Filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Congress of American Indians and Native American Finance Officers Association to support petitions for a writ of certiorari granted by the United States Supreme Court. Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak & Salazar v. Patchak, Nos. 11-246 & 11-247 (Sup. Ct.).

District Court Strategy

  • After being retained post-trial, represented defendant in having an adverse $27.7 million products liability verdict stricken on post-trial motions. Kedrowski v. Lycoming Engines, No. 62-cv-12-9581 (Minn. D. Ct. Ramsey Cty. Aug. 16, 2016) (granting judgment as a matter of law and alternative new trial on liability). The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the new trial order. 933 N.W.2d 45 (Minn. 2019).


Best Law Firms-25 Nationally Ranked Dorsey Practices 2021

129 Dorsey Lawyers-50+ Practices Best Lawyers 2022

34 Lawyers Named "Ones to Watch" Best Lawyers in America 2022

Leading Firm-Over 28 Dorsey Practices Chambers 2021


Steven Wells
Practice Group Chair

Industries & Practices

Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Litigation
  • ERISA Litigation
  • Government Contracts Counseling & Litigation
  • Healthcare Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • International Arbitration & Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Tax Controversy & Litigation
  • Trusts & Estates Litigation