Although in times past trial lawyers handled their own appeals, attorneys and, more importantly, judges now recognize appellate litigation as a distinct area of practice that requires a distinct set of skills.
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings boasts one of the country’s strongest and most active appellate litigation groups. The group is defined by its members and their collective experience. Four Bradley Arant Boult Cummings lawyers clerked on the United States Supreme Court, and dozens more served as law clerks on other federal and state appellate courts around the country. The firm’s lawyers appear regularly before the United States Supreme Court – in recent years firm lawyers have argued four cases in the high court and have represented clients, as either parties or amici curiae, in many more. In addition, firm lawyers have argued cases in all 13 federal courts of appeals and a number of state supreme and appellate courts.
With such a depth of experience, it is no surprise that Bradley Arant Boult Cummings is a go-to firm for clients seeking both national and regional appellate representation.
AN EXPERIENCED GROUP
Recognizing the unique demands of appellate practice, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings has assembled an extraordinary appellate practice group. Our remarkable team of lawyers brings to the table a wealth of experience in appellate advocacy. That experience takes several forms —
Judicial Clerkships. Four Bradley Arant Boult Cummings lawyers clerked on the United States Supreme Court: Wayne Drinkwater for Chief Justice Burger in 1976-77; Matt Lembke for Justice Kennedy in 1992-93; Kevin Newsom for Justice Souter in 2000-01; and Rob Couch for Justice Powell in 1983-84. In addition, firm lawyers have served as law clerks to judges on the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, as well as the Alabama, Florida, and New Jersey Supreme Courts. Not only do judicial clerkships offer young lawyers the opportunity to study under the nation’s finest and most influential jurists, they also provide those lawyers with invaluable insights into the procedures, personalities, and inner workings of appellate courts around the country.
Court Coverage. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings lawyers have litigated appeals in courts across the country. Our attorneys appear regularly in the United States Supreme Court – representing both parties and amici curiae – and, in addition, have handled cases in all 13 United States courts of appeals and in a number of state supreme and appellate courts. Indeed, in recent years, our lawyers have personally argued four cases in the U.S. Supreme Court as well as scores more in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh, D.C., and Federal Circuits, as well as the Alabama, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee appellate courts. During that same time, our lawyers have briefed, prepared, or consulted on countless additional appeals. Through our extensive experience litigating appeals, we have acquired an intimate familiarity with judges and court procedures throughout the nation.
Subject Areas. Bradley Arant Boult Cummings lawyers have handled appeals involving virtually every imaginable area of law, including
- general commercial
- class action
- product liability and mass tort
- labor and employment
- intellectual property
- energy and environmental
- antitrust and unfair competition
- banking and securities
- health care
- administrative law
- civil rights
- white-collar criminal defense
- constitutional law
- statutory interpretation
Every case is unique, of course. But our broad experience across a wide range of legal issues enables us to be aggressive – and efficient – in tackling our clients’ thorniest appellate problems.
Distinctions. Our lawyers have been widely recognized for their appellate know-how. Wayne Drinkwater and Matt Lembke, for instance, are members of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Kevin Newsom, former Alabama Solicitor General, has been recognized by The American Lawyer magazine as one of the top 50 litigators in the country under the age of 45 and by Law360 as one of the top 10 appellate lawyers in the country under the age of 40. Newsom was recently appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to the 10-member Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules. Wayne Drinkwater, Matt Lembke, Kevin Newsom, Scott Smith, and Margaret Cupples are all listed in Best Lawyers in America in the field of appellate litigation. Matt Lembke, Kevin Newsom, Scott Burnett Smith, Wayne Drinkwater, Sam Lipshie, and Pat Moskal were awarded individual honors as top appellate attorneys by the 2013 edition of Benchmark Appellate. Matt Lembke is the Chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers, and he recently served as Co-Chair of the 15th National Appellate Practice Institute. Scott Smith is the Past-Chair of DRI’s Amicus Committee and the Past-Chair of DRI's Appellate Advocacy Committee. These and other accolades, we believe, are merely reflective of the quality of representation that clients can expect from our appellate litigators. In addition to the many individual awards, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings was honored to be named the “Top Firm in the South” in 2013 for its appellate practice.
AN INDISPENSABLE SERVICE
An appeal raises the stakes of litigation considerably and demands the attention of experienced appellate counsel. Bradley Arant’s appellate lawyers handle cases not only for clients whom the firm represented at trial, but also for clients who engage the firm specifically because of our lawyers' appellate proficiency.
Wherever possible, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings' appellate litigators work with trial counsel to craft compelling legal arguments. The most effective appellate advocacy combines the trial lawyer’s mastery of the facts with the appellate lawyer’s identification and analysis of key legal issues. But even when we are brought into a case after verdict – or, for that matter, when an appeal is already underway – we are ready, willing, and able to evaluate the situation and to prepare and execute a strategy aimed at victory.
In either event – whether in the case from its inception or called in specifically for the appeal – Bradley Arant Boult Cummings' appellate lawyers can, through case-specific research, briefing and argument, provide a fresh and important perspective on the controlling legal questions. Our considerable experience clerking on and practicing before appellate courts throughout the country enables us to help you determine how best to frame and address the issues that will control the outcome of your appeal – and ultimately your entire case. Drawing on our knowledge of appellate procedures and our experience writing briefs and delivering oral arguments before different appellate courts, we will focus the judges’ attention on the decisive issues while avoiding the procedural pitfalls that too often undermine meritorious arguments.
The point is simply this: When your case goes on appeal, you want an experienced team at the helm. We have been there – in the United States Supreme Court, in every federal appellate court, and in a number of state supreme courts – and we can help.