Appellate

Success at the appellate level requires compelling oral and written arguments, a mastery of the record, and focused attention on appellate issues at the trial court phase.

 Hueston Hennigan has an exceptional track record representing clients in some of their most complex, novel, and important appeals in state and federal courts. We have argued a wide array of cases involving fraud, consumer protection, class action, land use, white collar, false claims acts, constitutional law, contracts, antitrust, and unfair competition. Notably, we have achieved a series of precedent-setting victories in cases of first impression where the odds were stacked against our clients.

We bring the same strategic thinking, vigor, and incisive writing that sets us apart in trial court to our appellate work. Because the vast majority of our lawyers clerked in federal courts, we have the experience to craft persuasive arguments that highlight the strongest legal and factual arguments and policy considerations.

Our team develops longstanding relationships with clients and often represents them both at trial and appeal. From day one of trial, we rely on our appellate experience to ensure we are properly preserving and persuasively presenting legal issues for appeal. Clients also retain us to replace trial counsel for important or challenging appeals, a testament to our reputation in the appellate arena. In these engagements, we closely study the record and construct a comprehensive appellate strategy—integrating a compelling factual narrative with legal standards and arguments that resonate in appellate courts.

Representative Experience

  • Welk v. Nutraceutical Corporation. Obtained a unanimous opinion at the Supreme Court of the United States in favor of Nutraceutical. The Court adopted our arguments that the Rule 23(f) deadline to file an interlocutory appeal of a class-certification decision, and all other mandatory claim-processing rules, are unsusceptible to equitable exceptions. This preserves our victory at the lower court, where we obtained decertification of the putative plaintiff class.
  • IMDB.com v. California. Prevailed on behalf of IMDb.com in a constitutional challenge to a California law restricting online speech. The case is currently pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. (See “IMDb Sues California Over Law Allowing Actors to Conceal their Ages,” The Wall Street Journal; “Judge Predicts Doom for Privacy Law on Actor Ages,” Courthouse News Service)
  •  Park at Cross Creek, et al. v. City of Malibu. Obtained precedent-setting victory in a challenge to the constitutionality of a Malibu land use ordinance described by The New York Times as “one of the most stringent anti-development measures ever attempted in the country.” The victory, which included a unanimous decision by the California Court of Appeal and denial of review by the California Supreme Court, was hailed by the Daily Journal of Los Angeles as “a major appellate win in a high-profile legal and political battle.”
  •  GlaxoSmithKline v. Abbott Laboratories. Obtained groundbreaking victory on behalf of client GlaxoSmithKline at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arising out of GSK’s antitrust and unfair competition claims against Abbott. Agreeing with our arguments, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion holding for the first time that discriminating against a juror on the basis of sexual orientation violated the U.S. Constitution.
  •  In re Advance Health Care Directive of Sumner M. Redstone. Prevailed in the California Court of Appeal on behalf of Mr. Redstone in a matter of first impression arising under a statute no court of appeal had previously addressed. The case put an end to a two-year-long dispute over Mr. Redstone’s right to choose his health care agent.
  •  Koch v. Greenberg. Prevailed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in an opinion defining the standards for fraud and New York consumer protection law claims and affirming a trial award of liability and punitive damages for our client.
  •  In re John Kapon et al. Prevailed before the New York Court of Appeals in an action concerning evidentiary and civil procedure issues of first impression. After our victory, our client obtained a very favorable settlement.
  • People of the State of Illinois v. former FBI agent. Played a key role in crafting the appellate briefs that led the Illinois Supreme Court to strike down its Eavesdropping Act for violating both the U.S. and Illinois constitutions. This victory led to the full dismissal of a felony prosecution that had been pending against our client.
  •  Koch v. Acker, Merrall & Condit Co. Obtained unanimous victory in New York’s highest appellate court on the definition and scope of New York’s consumer protection and false advertising laws (GBL 349 and 350). The New York Law Journal described our win as a “game changer.”
  •  Brown v. Holder. Established new law in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concerning the due process rights of immigrants. Adopting our arguments, the Ninth Circuit held, for the first time, that a constitutional right exists to apply for U.S. citizenship.
  •  Hollingsworth v. Perry. Represented Equality California before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that those who opposed same-sex marriage did not have standing to challenge the trial court’s decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court agreed in an opinion that explicated the rules of standing and effectively established the freedom to marry in California.