Supreme Court & Appellate Litigation

Appellate advocacy demands a distinctive combination of strategic judgment, careful analysis, and outstanding written and oral advocacy skills. Appellate judges are generalists. To be effective, appellate advocates must translate highly technical subject matter into language and concepts that a non-specialist can understand. And because an appeal is framed by the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law, the issues on appeal may differ significantly from the ones that trial counsel thought they were litigating.

Our Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation team has represented clients in scores of complex civil and criminal appeals in all federal courts of appeals and in state appellate tribunals. Our lawyers have argued dozens of cases before the Supreme Court, as well as cases in every circuit court of appeals. We honed our experience in some of the most complex areas of the law, including federal and state taxation, employee benefits and ERISA, government contracts, international business, criminal defense, and federal preemption. The breadth of our representations has made us sensitive to the issues facing appellate judges with wide-ranging case loads and equipped us to get up to speed quickly and to handle effectively any kind of issue at the appellate level.

Our appellate advocacy focuses not just on excellence, but also on delivering results, and the many victories we have won for our clients demonstrate the strength of our advocacy. In our most recent merits case in the Supreme Court, our client prevailed by a 9-0 vote. And on three different occasions, we have persuaded a court of appeals to reverse an unfavorable trial court decision and then persuaded the Supreme Court to deny the United States' ensuing petition for certiorari. These rare victories in the face of the deference the Court usually pays to the Solicitor General's certiorari petitions attest both to the persuasiveness of our arguments and to the consistent quality of our work.

Our clients include some of the world's largest U.S. and foreign-based corporations, trade associations, industry coalitions, individuals, and public interest groups. Clients hire us for our experience, our ability to handle the most sophisticated matters, and our record of achievement in court. They also appreciate the size and wide range of experience of our team, which ensures hands-on involvement in each appeal by senior lawyers with considerable personal experience in appellate courts.

In addition to serving as lead counsel in appeals, our team is also regularly engaged to revise appellate briefs prepared initially by other counsel and to provide skilled advice on Supreme Court or appellate strategy and procedure in important cases. We often provide advice to counsel at the trial level, including strategic guidance at the early stages of a case. Our team advises in framing legal theories, shaping important statutory or constitutional issues, and preserving issues for appeal with an eye to subsequent appellate consideration.

Representative Engagements|View All

United States Supreme Court

  • Bruce v. Samuels, No., 14-844, cert. granted June 15, 2015. (secured supreme court review of issue concerning payment of filing fees under the Prison Litigation Reform Act). 
  • Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wayne, No. 13-485 (May 18, 2015). (amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Publically Traded Partnerships in support of the taxpayers position, which prevailed in the Court, that Maryland's income tax system violated the U.S. Constitution in failing to afford a credit for income tax paid to another state on the same income).
  • PPL v. Comm'r, 133S. Ct. 1897 (2013) (amicus brief on behalf of American Electric Power Co. on foreign tax credit issue).

United States Court of Appeals

  • Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Comm’r, 689 F.3d 191 (2d Cir. 2012) (upholding taxpayer’s claim for interest netting).
  • Jacks v. Meridian Res. Co., LLC, 701 F.3d 1224 (8th Cir. 2012) (holding that suit for benefits under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act could be removed to federal court under federal officer removal statute). 
  • ENSCO Offshore Co. v. Salazar, No. 11-30491, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10301 (5th Cir. May 22, 2012) (dismissing for lack of standing environmental groups' appeal of district court's order requiring the Department of the Interior to process offshore drilling permits within 30 days).
Government Experience
  • Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Tax Assistant to the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Assistant Director, Torts Branch, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Assistant Chief, Admiralty and Shipping Section, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Chief, Special Litigation Division, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Corporate Experience
Rankings and Recognition
  • Chambers USA: ERISA Litigation (National), 2015 - 2016