INDUSTRIES & PRACTICES

winning appeals

Appellate
CASES START IN THE TRIAL COURT. BUT THEY OFTEN END IN THE APPELLATE COURTS. DORSEY’S EXPERIENCED APPELLATE TEAM CAN SEE YOUR CASE ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE FINISH LINE.

Overview

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 + -

Experience

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 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

  • 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).
  •  Reversal by Minnesota Court of Appeals of new trial order in defamation case, reinstating the jury’s verdict and ordering entry of judgment for news media defendants. Larson v. Gannett Company, Inc., 915 N.W.2d 485 (Minn. App. 2018), on review by Minn. Sup. Ct.
  •  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

  • 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.
  •  Composed and 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

  • Secured judgment as a matter of law for defendant after being retained post-trial, wiping out a $27.7 million verdict which at the time was the largest personal injury verdict issued by a Minnesota jury in the past ten years, and the third-largest in Minnesota history. Kedrowski v. Lycoming Engines, No. 62-cv-12-9581 (Minn. D. Ct. Ramsey Cty. Aug. 16, 2016), affirmed by No. A17-0538, 2018 WL 2293332, 2018 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 403 (Minn. App. May 15, 2018), on review by Minn. Sup. Ct.

Accolades

Contacts

Steven Wells
Practice Group Co-Chair
Timothy Droske
Practice Group Co-Chair

Industries & Practices

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