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Appellate

Who We Are and What We Do

RSHC’s appellate practice runs the gamut from appeals following final judgment, to interlocutory appeals of class certification rulings or decisions on controlling questions of law, to certification of questions to state supreme courts and writs of mandamus. We have experience in forums across the country, both in cases where we represented a party in the lower court and in cases where we were brought in as appellate counsel.

Our attorneys have represented parties or amici in almost every federal appellate court in the country, including the Supreme Court, the D.C. Circuit, the Federal Circuit, and the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits.

We have also briefed and argued cases in the highest courts of the states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin, and in numerous intermediate appellate courts including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Our appellate work cuts across our practice areas. We have successfully represented clients in appeals involving antitrust, RICO, mail and wire fraud, products liability, the Airline Deregulation Act, patent infringement, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, class certification, class settlements, and insurance bad faith (to name just a few).

Our Approach

Our approach to appellate work reflects our founding principles of excellence, client service, and value. RSHC’s appellate practice is an integral part of our broader litigation practice:  we do not have any attorneys who do only “appellate law.” In most cases, the RSHC attorneys who handled a matter in the trial court — and who are therefore intimately familiar with the factual record and legal issues in the case — will make up the core of the appellate team, with the ability to draw on our deep bench strength as needed for briefing, oral argument, or simply to provide a new perspective. In appeals where we were not counsel at the trial court level, we work collaboratively with trial counsel to familiarize ourselves with the facts and issues in an efficient and cost-effective way. Our team-based mindset allows us to bring our attorneys’ extensive and diverse experience to bear in developing arguments and strategy that we and our clients believe will offer the most likely path to prevailing in an appeal.

Recent Representative Engagements

Attorneys in our appellate practice have participated in the following representative matters:

  • We obtained a seminal decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversing certification of a statewide class involving tens of thousands of individuals and directing the district court to dismiss the complaint on remand.
  • We successfully defended in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit a district court order dismissing a new “negligent product liability” theory based on our client’s licensing of a patent to the owner and operator of the manufacturing plant where the plaintiff was allegedly injured. Click here to hear the oral argument in this appeal (Bob Riley’s argument begins at 24:40).
  • In a case of national importance to toxic tort litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the Daubert ruling we had obtained in the district court excluding the cancer causation opinion of the plaintiff’s expert as “junk science,” and affirmed the jury verdict for our client.
  • We obtained a decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirming the dismissal of an antitrust challenge to the NCAA’s “year-in-residence” rule, and holding that the year-in-residence requirement is an eligibility rule meant to preserve the amateur character of college athletics and is therefore presumptively pro-competitive. Click here to hear the oral argument in this appeal (Greg Curtner’s argument begins at 11:59).
  • We successfully defended in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit an order dismissing a putative class action complaint against United Airlines challenging the fees that United charges customers who cancel a nonrefundable ticket to re-use the value of that ticket.
  • We successfully defended in the Federal Circuit an order invalidating the plaintiff’s patent on the ground that it claimed an abstract idea and dismissing the plaintiff’s lawsuit against our client.
  • We won affirmance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit of an order dismissing a putative, nationwide class action against United Airlines (and other airlines) for alleged violations of Civil RICO based on the assessment of foreign tourism taxes.