Appeals & Critical Motions

Our partners are uniquely positioned to handle appeals at every stage of the process. Chris Paolella spent two years clerking for Hon. Samuel A. Alito, Jr., first on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and later on the United States Supreme Court. He has filed dozens of appellate briefs before tribunals ranging from state appellate courts to the U.S. Supreme Court. David Reich also has extensive experience briefing and arguing appeals in both criminal and civil cases.

We combine our appellate experience with deep substantive expertise to provide our clients with top-notch advocacy in appeals ranging from high-stakes civil disputes to criminal cases to constitutional litigation.

Appellate Briefing and Argument
Most appeals are won or lost on the briefs, and it takes experienced appellate advocates—and world-class writers—to maximize a client’s chance of success.

An effective appellate brief must do more than just set forth the law. It should tell a story, translate legal jargon into plain English, appeal to common sense, and give the court a blueprint for its decision. We write briefs that are concise but comprehensive, conversational but intellectually rigorous, and aggressive without being argumentative.

We are also seasoned oral advocates. Too many lawyers waste oral argument time by simply rehashing what they already said in their briefs. We view argument as a chance to have a conversation with the bench: to focus the judges on our most important points, to answer tough questions about the most difficult parts of our case, and to explore the ramifications of potential rulings.

Supreme Court Advocacy
We have extensive experience representing parties and amici before the nation’s highest court at both the certiorari and the merits stages. Chris Paolella has briefed and argued cases before the Court. He recently secured a unanimous victory for his client in Millbrook v. United States, concerning the scope of the government’s waiver of sovereign immunity under the Federal Tort Claims Act.

We regularly work with major organizations to write amicus briefs on important legal and public policy issues. Our partners have filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court in landmark cases including McDonald v. Chicago (concerning whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms applies to the states); Graham v. Florida (concerning whether sentencing a juvenile to life imprisonment without parole is cruel and usual punishment); and Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (concerning whether Alien Tort Statute extends to conduct that occurs outside the United States).

Our experience clerking at and practicing before the Court gives us unique insight into how to seek and oppose discretionary appellate review. We have successfully obtained and opposed certiorari in the Supreme Court for our clients. Our firm can also counsel clients in advocacy before the Office of the Solicitor General, whose views the Court often seeks before deciding whether to review a case.

Click here to read some of the briefs we’ve recently filed in the Supreme Court.

Critical Motions and Trial Counseling
We apply the same experience that makes us skilled appellate advocates to briefing and arguing critical motions before and at trial. In addition to handling cases on our own, we often work with trial counsel from other firms to prepare motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, oppositions to class certification, and major in limine motions. We can also assist trial teams in spotting and preserving potential appellate issues and making a favorable record for appeal.