Appeals

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Appellate practice is a specialty.  The stakes on appeal are exceptionally high, and a case litigated for years can turn on a brief or two on appeal and a few minutes of oral argument.  We believe this demands written and oral advocacy at the highest levels of the profession.

Our Appeals team includes accomplished appellate specialists who have defended hard-fought victories and overturned unfavorable decisions in state and federal appellate courts throughout the country.  Many of our appellate lawyers began their legal careers as appellate law clerks, including on the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and D.C. Circuits and on the Michigan Supreme Court.  We pride ourselves on precise, forceful writing, well-organized and persuasive oral arguments, and mastery of the appellate rules.

We are fortunate to have on our Appeals team the former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Clifford W. Taylor.  Chief Justice Taylor served on the appellate bench for more than 16 years, and learned first-hand what works—and what doesn’t work—in presenting an appeal.  We lean on Chief Justice Taylor’s wisdom and unique perspective in preparing and presenting our appeals.

Our Appeals team also specializes in protecting our clients’ interests through “friend of the court” amicus briefs.  There are cases decided every day that affect your organization’s business.  We track those cases for our clients, and through amicus briefs we proactively seek out opportunities to have our clients’ voices heard and to shape the law in their favor.  We regularly speak and hold seminars on the importance of amicus briefs, including our recent presentations, “Roundtable: The Importance of Amicus Briefs With Former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court Clifford W. Taylor,” and “Using Friend of the Court Briefs to Protect Your Organization.”  An audio recording of Chief Justice Taylor’s roundtable discussion on amicus briefs is available here, and we invite you to listen.

 

Appellate Success

  • Jackson v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services et al., 731 F.3d 556 (6th Cir. 2013) (en banc).  In a very rare en banc decision, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a RICO claim against our client for alleged wrongful denial of workers-compensation benefits. 
  • MacDonald v. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 724 F.3d 654 (6th Cir. 2013).  We successfully represented a law school in a purported $300 million class action brought by graduates alleging fraud and violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.
  • Mack Trucks Inc. v. BorgWarner Turbo Systems, Inc., 508 F. App’x 180 (3d Cir. 2012).  We successfully represented a turbocharger supplier against a $50 million warranty claim brought by a large truck manufacturer.
  • Slobin v. Henry Ford Health Care, 469 Mich. 211 (2003).  When plaintiff filed a class action suit claiming that hospitals’ charges to lawyers for copies of clients’ medical records were excessive, the Court of Appeals held that attorneys’ requests for copies of their clients’ medical records were covered by the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA).  We appealed.  The Michigan Supreme Court reversed, agreeing with us that the records were for the attorneys’ business use, and that the MCPA does not apply to purchases that are primarily for business use—an issue of first impression. Plaintiff’s class action complaint was summarily dismissed.
  • Rudisill v. Ford Motor Co., 709 F.3d 595 (6th Cir. 2013).  The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for our client on a claim brought under the Ohio intentional-tort statute arising out of a factory accident.
  • People of the State of Michigan v. Jamieson Bender, 452 Mich. 594, 551 N.W.2d 71 (1996).  We persuaded the Michigan Supreme Court to adopt under Michigan law a rule of criminal procedure that the United States Supreme Court had rejected as a matter of federal law.