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State and Federal Appellate Practice


Successful appellate litigation involves a distinct set of skills, knowledge, and strategy. In appellate practice, knowing what to argue – and how to argue it – are important considerations that can determine success or failure. This applies to both written and oral advocacy at the appellate level. Our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and skill to successfully represent clients in appellate matters.

Effective advocacy during the appeals process requires a different approach than trial litigation. Unlike in a trial proceeding, an appellate attorney is bound to the existing record, rulings from the trial court, and to a distinct standard by which the lower-court ruling is reviewed. Appellate jurists must consider both the case before the Court, as well as the potential ramifications of the Court’s decision in future cases.

These realities necessarily impact the preparation and presentation of a case, both at trial and before the appellate court. The involvement of experienced appellate counsel is invaluable at each stage of this process. Beginning with the filing of a lawsuit and at each stage of litigation, our litigators provide the necessary experience and knowledge of appellate rules, procedures, strategies, and advocacy to obtain the best result for our clients.

Our appellate practitioners have clerked in both state and federal courts, and include a former clerk of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. We have extensive experience practicing before the Supreme Court of Virginia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

Our State and Federal Appellate Practice includes:

  • Consultation regarding both pre- and post-trial motions, and preserving issues for appeal
  • Consultation regarding the advisability of pursuing an appeal in light of the trial record and potential bases for appellate review
  • Perfecting a timely appeal, and briefing and arguing the appeal
  • Post-ruling issues, such as recovering costs or filing a petition for rehearing
  • Amicus curiae representation

Representative Experience

Representative Experience

  • Transparent GMU, et al. v. George Mason University, et al. (Sup. Ct. Va. 2019) (briefed as amicus) representing several non-profit university foundations and addressing the applicability of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to such entities.
  • Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Erie Ins. Exchange (Sup. Ct. Va. 2019), involving a coverage dispute between co-insurers as it related to claims for contribution and subrogation.
  • James River Insurance Co. v. Doswell Truck Stop (Sup. Ct. Va. 2019), involving a question of ambiguity in an insurance policy’s auto exclusion.
  • The Daily Press, LLC, et al. v. Office of the Exec. Sec. of the Sup. Ct. of Va., 293 Va. 551 (2017), involving a dispute over the applicability of Freedom of Information statutes to the data of circuit court clerks.
  • Forest Lakes Cmty. Ass’n v. United Land Corp. of Am., 293 Va. 113 (2017), involving the applicability of the statute of limitations on nuisance and trespass claims filed against numerous property owners.
  • In re: Vauter, 292 Va. 761 (2016), original jurisdiction proceeding involving whether a writ of prohibition lay to prohibit a Virginia circuit court from exercising habeas corpus jurisdiction.
  • Rafalko v. Georgiadis, Record No. 141533 (Sup. Ct. Va. 2015), involving the administration of a trust and the interpretation of a No Contest Clause.
  • Lucas v. Woody, 287 Va. 354 (2014), analyzing the applicability of the statute of limitations to an action arising from conditions of confinement.
  • Rogers v. Stem, 590 Fed. Appx. 201 (4th Cir. 2014), answering whether a law enforcement officer was entitled to qualified immunity for claims brought under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • Daniels v. Mobley, 285 Va. 402 (2013), addressing a declaratory judgment action to determine whether Texas Hold ‘Em was illegal gambling.

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