Appellate lawyers are a special breed. Some call us “law lawyers.” We serve as appellate and trial counsel to clients involved in complicated, high-stakes appeals by developing effective strategies, researching and writing appellate briefs, advocating through oral and written arguments, and representing our clients in appellate and trial courts.

  • Appellate Litigation Experience


    • Represented MBL Life/Fisher Island Corporation in a vessel collision case and obtained a reversal of a $4 million judgment (plus costs, interest and attorney’s fees) and remand for new trial. MBL Life Assurance Corp. v. Suarez, 768 So. 2d 1129 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000).

    Airline Tariff

    • Represented Defendant Wackenhut Corporation, as agent of Delta Airlines, in a seminal airline tariff case establishing liability limitations on carry-on baggage and obtained reversal of judgment in excess of $1 million (including costs, interest and attorney’s fees) when Florida Supreme Court reversed the trial court and district court of appeal, vacating judgment below. Wackenhut Corp. v. Lippert, 609 So. 2d 1304 (Fla. 1992).


    • Obtained a favorable California Court of Appeal ruling affirming the dismissal of antitrust claims against generators, sellers and traders of wholesale electricity stemming from the California wholesale electricity crisis. See, e.g., Wholesale Electricity Anti-Trust Cases I and II, 147 Cal. App. 4th 1293.
    • Obtained a favorable Ninth Circuit ruling affirming the dismissal of antitrust claims against her clients in a multi-district litigation on filed rate and preemption grounds. People of the State of California v. Sempra Energy Trading Corp., 2007 WL 2434168 (9th Cir.); 292 Fed. Appx. 676 (9th Cir.).


    • Represented Merrill Lynch in an argument that a customer’s lawsuit should be stayed. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, & Smith v. Ainsworth, 630 So. 2d 1145 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997).
    • Represented a company in an argument that parties’ statute or contract provision authorized an attorney's fee award. Ulrich v. Eaton Vance Distribs., Inc., 764 So. 2d 731 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).
    • Represented a company arguing the claimant was not entitled to an award of attorney’s fees and pre-award interest because there was no finding on which legal theories the award was based and because the arbitration award itself stated that it was in full settlement of all claims. Pharmacy Management Servs., Inc. v. Perschon, 622 So. 2d 75 (Fla. 2d DCA1993).
    • Obtained affirmance of a trial court order finding that the opposing party waived arbitration rights by availing itself to the benefits of the rules of discovery. Brickell Commerce Plaza, Inc. v. Tavares, 116 So. 3d 522 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013).
    • Represented foreign clients in two separate appeals in connection with the arbitrability of the investment disputes in state court. Jones v. Jacobson, 195 Cal. App. 4th 1.

    Class Action De-certification

    • Represented Humana to reverse an order certifying a class action of policy holders alleging they were fraudulently induced to enroll in HMO policy. Humana, Inc. v. Castillo, 728 So. 2d 261 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999).
    • Represented Motel 6 in its petition for mandamus relief; the Eleventh Circuit directed the district court to decertify the class and vacate that part of the order that allowed both classes to conduct preliminary class communications. Jackson v. Motel 6 Multipurpose, 130 F.3d 999 (11th Cir. 1997).
    • Petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to take two discretionary appeals from orders granting class certification in two different Sherman Act §1 cases and then briefed both appeals on the merits, which resulted in the decertification of the classes and the clarification of the standards for granting class certification in the Third Circuit. In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litigation, 552 F.3d 305 (3d Cir. 2008); In re Plastics Additives Antitrust Litigation, 671 F.3d 1284 (3d Cir. 2009).


    • Represented the County of Brevard in arguing that without written change order, doctrine of sovereign immunity precluded recovery of the cost of extra work done by contractor. County of Brevard v. Miorelli Eng’g, 703 So. 2d 1049 (Fla. 1997).
    • Won an appeal before Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, en banc, reversing a trial court decision in a case that will have statewide implications involving Pennsylvania’s Construction Code.


    • Represented a company in an argument that trial court’s refusal to allow parol evidence to explain parties' intent required reversal. Centennial Mortg., Inc. v. SG/SC, LTD., 772 So. 2d 564 (Fla. 1st DCA 2000).
    • Preserved on appeal a judgment in favor of our client, a national franchisor, in a breach of contract action following the termination of a lease. 27th & Girard Ltd. Partnership v. McDonald’s Corp., 160 Fed.Appx. 136 (3d Cir. 2005).
    • Obtained dismissal of a suit against our client alleging claims of breach of contract and fraud resulting from an aborted acquisition and preserved that judgment on appeal. Naturopathic Laboratories Intern., Inc. v. SSL Americas, Inc., 18 A.D.3d 404, 795 N.Y.S.2d 580 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. 2005).
    • Briefed and argued appeal in the Appellate Division, First Department of New York on behalf of a limited liability partnership, upholding the partnership’s breach of contract claim. Slotnick, Shapiro & Crocker, LLP v. Stiglianese, 92 A.D.3d 482 (1st Dep’t 2012).
    • Assisted in obtaining and sustaining on appeal to the New York Appellate Division the stay of opponent’s earlier filed lawsuit seeking preemptive declaratory judgment in its home jurisdiction. AIG Financial Products Corp. v. Penncara Energy LLC, 83 A.D.3d 495, 922 N.Y.S.2d 288 (2011).
    • Obtained precedent setting opinion from the Third District Court of Appeal reversing the trial court’s entry of a final judgment enforcing a settlement agreement prior to payment of the statutory documentary stamp taxes and clarifying that promissory notes are unenforceable in Florida courts unless and until the statutory documentary stamp taxes are paid. Solis v. Lacayo, 86 So. 3d 1147 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012).
    • Obtained dismissal of appeal in a heavily litigated case within approximately 60 days from the date the appeal was filed. Bregman v. Pearce, 2014 WL 1975178 (Fla. 3d DCA, Apr. 8, 2014).

    First Amendment

    • Hired as appellate counsel to appeal a permanent injunction in a case of first impression involving various First Amendment issues and the public figure doctrine. Chambers v. Scutieri, 2013 WL 1337935 (N.J. Sup. A.D., Apr. 4, 2013).

    Government Contracts and Public Projects

    • Won a favorable appellate court decision due to an administrative agency’s failure to abide by the bid protest procedures within the Pennsylvania Procurement Code that reversed the agency’s determination that denied a bid protest filed on behalf of technology client. Resulted in the appellate court cancelling a $77.5 million contract that had been awarded to the client’s competitor, as well as the court ordering the agency to re-bid the procurement. Integrated Biometric Technology, LLC d/b/a L-1 Enrollment Svcs. v. Department of Gen. Svcs., 22 A.3d 303 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2011).
    • Won a favorable appellate court decision due to an administrative agency’s failure to follow the terms of its own request for proposal that reversed the agency’s determination denying the client’s bid protest that opposed the award of a five-year $160 million contract to the client’s competitor to supply pharmaceutical services to inmates at Pennsylvania’s state correctional institutions. Boswell Pharmacy Svcs, LLC v. Department of Corrections, 2009 WL 9097148 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2009).
    • Obtained a favorable Court of Appeal ruling affirming the superior court’s order determining the governmental entity acted in compliance with CEQA with respect to the approval of a low income housing project. Citizens for Responsible Development in West Hollywood v. City of West Hollywood, 39 Cal. App. 4th 490.
    • Obtained a favorable Court of Appeal ruling affirming the superior court’s denial of CEQA petition for writ of mandate challenging a public transportation project. River Valley Preservation Project v. Metropolitan Transit Development Board, 37 Cal. App. 4th 154.


    • Represented a deputy and a sheriff in reversing denial of summary judgment where they were acting in the performance of a discretionary governmental function in participating in a sting operation and where probable cause existed to support plaintiff’s arrest. Vermette v. Ludwig, 707 So. 2d 742 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997).
    • Had the Pennsylvania Supreme Court grant a petition for allowance of appeal on the issue of whether a party that produces documents in response to a federal court subpoena is protected by absolute immunity from a subsequent state court action for defamation based upon the contents of those documents. Voeglie, N. v. Burger, D. et al, 710 EAL 2000 (Pa. 2000).


    • Represented ICA Construction Corporation in a contractual indemnification case and obtained reversal of $1.2 million judgment (plus costs, attorney’s fees and interest running) with remand for final judgment in favor of our client. ICA Construction Corp. v. Frederick R. Harris, Inc., 701 So. 2d 113 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997).

    Insurance Coverage

    • Represented Allstate Insurance Company and eliminated use of contingency risk multiplier in cases where the fee award was based upon offer judgment. Sarkis v. Allstate Ins. Co., 28 Fla. L Weekly S740 (Fla. Oct. 2, 2003).
    • Represented State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company defeating a claim that its “business pursuits” and “business operations” exclusions were ambiguous and unenforceable. Santos v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 707 So. 2d 1181 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).
    • Represented a commercial insurer defeating a surgeon’s claim that a spoliation of evidence claim brought against him by a patient was covered occurrence not excluded by professional services exclusion. Plastic Surgery Center, P.A. v. State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co., 783 So. 2d 261 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).
    • Represented an insurer in defeating a claim for property damage caused by pesticide over-spraying because the damage fell within policy’s “contamination” exclusion. Maxwell v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 717 So. 2d 1014 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).
    • Represented Florida Farm Bureau in a consolidated decision by the Florida Supreme Court setting the benchmark for pollution coverage in client’s favor. Deni Associates of Florida, Inc. v. State Farm & Casualty Ins. Co., 711 So. 2d 1135 (Fla. 1998).
    • Obtained a peremptory writ of mandate for Montrose Chemical Corporation in connection with its lawsuit for insurance coverage for CERLA actions. Montrose Chemical Corporation of California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles; Canadian Universal Insurance Company, 25 Cal. App. 4th 902.

    Jury Misconduct

    • Represented DSI Transports, Inc. in a multi-car collision case and obtained a reversal of a judgment in excess of $2 million (plus costs, interest and attorney’s fees) and remand for a new trial. Davis v. Cohen, 816 So. 2d 671 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002).

    Labor & Employment

    • Obtained Ninth Circuit relief reversing the district court’s erroneous dismissal of a retaliation claim. Cervantes v. Pratt, 2006 WL 2983547 (9th Cir.); 224 Fed. Appx. 697.
    • Represented the convenience store industry defeating a series of claims by sales clerks who argued that employers should have protected them from attacks by armed robbers. Ream v. The Southland Corp., 696 So. 2d 361 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997); Estate of Reid v. Swats, 686 So. 2d 19 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996); Cartwright v. The Southland Corporation, 682 So. 2d 580 (Fla. 3d DCA 1996).
    • Represented the Clerk of the Circuit court in reversing an ADA jury verdict on the basis that the employee’s request for an indefinite leave of absence indicated that the employee was requesting an unreasonable accommodation. Wood v. Green, 323 F.3d 1309 (11th Cir. 2003).
    • Obtained a favorable Court of Appeal ruling affirming the dismissal of a religious discrimination claim under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. Sipperly v. Thermoscan, Inc., 2000 WL 34492167.
    • Represented Adams Fruit Co., a citrus grower, and presented oral argument to the United States Supreme Court on a federal statute establishing migrant workers’ rights. Though we were unsuccessful on appeal, the decision spurred the United States Congress to modify and clarify the federal statute to comport with client’s position on appeal and correct error in original drafting of the law. Adams Fruit Company, Inc. v. Barrett, 494 U.S. 638, 110 S. Ct. 1384 (1990).

    Landlord Liability

    • Represented the landlord in defeating a serious injury claim brought by a tenant’s son who lost his eye when he was shot by a playmate’s blowgun. Calta v. Schleman, 833 So. 2d 1120 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002).


    • Briefed and argued appeal on behalf of a commercial lender in the Appellate Division, Second Department of New York in a fraud action regarding a failed multi-million dollar construction loan in Rockland County, New York. RBS Citizens, N.A. v. Thorsen, 71 A.D.3d 1108 (2d Dep’t 2010).
    • Defended appeal of multimillion dollar judgment against guarantor of commercial loan, resulting in affirmance of judgment. Farm Credit Leasing Svcs. Corp. v. Rubashkin, 107 A.D.3d 663 (2d Dep’t 2013).

    Medical Liability

    • Represented a physician defeating a patient’s claim by use of newly enacted procedural requirement, which lower courts deemed inapplicable. The Florida Supreme Court applied requirement to existing claim. Pearlstein v. King, 610 So. 2d 445 (Fla. 1992).

    Professional Liability

    • Represented a therapist, who had been sanctioned by the Department of Professional Regulation, in defeating a patient’s civil claim. The Florida Supreme Court rejected the United States Supreme Court’s reasoning regarding collateral estoppel. Stogniew v. McQueen, 656 So. 2d 917 (Fla. 1995).
    • Represented a lawyer and his firm defeating a claim that he was liable to a non-client homeowners association by virtue of documents he created at the request of project's developer. Hunt Ridge at Tall Pines, Inc. v. Hall, 766 So. 2d 399 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000).

    Real Estate and Land Use

    • Assisted in defending large commercial building owner in trial and subsequent appeal of a range of claims with respect to property rights, express and implied easements, rights-of-way and Pennsylvania’s Private Road Act. Frank Bryan, Inc. v. Pittsburgh Terminal Properties, P.L.J., Vol. 157, No. 24, Page 463 (Allegheny Cty. 2009).
    • Obtained a favorable Ninth Circuit ruling affirming the district court’s order determining a proposed landfill complied with NEPA. County of San Diego v. Babbitt; Campo Band of Mission Indians and Muht-Hei, Inc., 61 F.3d 909 (9th Cir.); 1994 WL 16121517.
    • Represented a client in a discretionary writ of mandate and prohibition proceeding in the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court in connection with jurisdictional objections. Barratt Developments PLC v. Superior Court; Seahaus La Jolla Owners Association, 2012 WL 1344999, 2012 WL 838387.

    Rental Car Liability

    • Represented a rental car company in shifting primary insurance responsibility to a customer's insurer despite the customer’s failure to fully complete a rental agreement. Glover v. Scamp Auto Rental I, Inc., 682 So. 2d 562 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996).

    Restaurant Liability

    • Represented a restaurant in defeating a serious injury claim brought by a customer infected by vibro vulnificus after eating raw oysters. Gary v. Bar Management Corp., 600 So. 2d 1112 (Fla. 2d DCA 1992).


    • Represented a physical education teacher in defeating a claim brought by school secretary injured by a football. Castellano v. Raynor, 725 So. 2d 1197 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999).
    • Represented Pinellas County School Board in sustaining a verdict that awarded only nominal damages to the parents of a student killed exiting a school bus. Luteran v. Pinellas County School Bd., 725 So. 2d 1121 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).

    Securities and Financial Services

    • Assisted in obtaining denial of preliminary injunction request and the subsequent entry and affirmance on appeal of summary judgment in favor of minority shareholders in an action brought by a Pennsylvania corporation based on its right of first refusal in a shareholder agreement and seeking to block minority shareholders’ $30+ million stock sale to a third party. Teletracking Technologies Inc. v. Gori, G.D. No. 11-06531 (C.P. Allegheny), affirmed, No. 1066 WDA 2011 (Pa. Super. April 10, 2013).
    • Assisted in obtaining and defending on appeal a summary judgment in favor of director/shareholder of a Delaware corporation in a direct action (seeking a multi-million dollar damages award) brought by a corporate shareholder alleging breach of fiduciary duties in connection with a down-round equity financing transaction that diluted the plaintiff’s equity. Rock v. Rangos and Meakem, G.D. 08-027634 (C.P. Allegheny), aff’d, 2013 Pa. Super. 13 (January 24, 2013).
    • Obtained a favorable Court of Appeal ruling affirming the grant of summary judgment in favor of clients in a suit alleging negligent tax advice with respect to tax treatment of stock options. Henry v. Monaghan v. Henley Group, Inc., Wheelabrator Technologies, et al., 1997 WL 33799336 (Cal.).


    • Represented Thunderbird Drive-In Theatre, Inc. in an auto accident case involving a quadriplegic plaintiff and obtained reversal of $4.875 million judgment (plus costs, interest running and attorney's fees) and remand for a new trial. Thunderbird Drive-In Theatre, Inc. v. Reed, 571 So. 2d 1341 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990.

    Trade Secrets

    • Represented a company in upholding a temporary injunction order in favor of the company as a customer list included confidential information not available elsewhere. East v. Aqua Gaming, Inc., 805 So. 2d 932 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001).