Appellate Litigation

Appellate litigation requires unique skills and experience. A skilled appellate lawyer can find a path — however narrow — to a favorable appellate decision, and develop a convincing narrative supporting that outcome. That lawyer can then translate that abstraction into scholarly yet engaging briefs and understandable discussion points shared during the give-and-take with the appellate judges at oral argument. Since appellate victory is never guaranteed, it is essential to have this kind of lawyer by your side when your case goes up on appeal — especially when the monetary or precedential stakes are high.

Stevens & Lee’s appellate lawyers, with years of training and experience in appellate litigation, fit this description precisely. Hon. Thomas Vanaskie (Ret.), former judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Karl Myers, a leading Pennsylvania appellate lawyer with more than two decades of experience, lead our appellate group. For New Jersey state court appeals, our highly regarded practitioners include Patrick Kennedy and Maeve Cannon, who bring more than seven decades of combined experience in appellate strategy and leadership. Standing behind them is a team of skilled attorneys, including more than a dozen former appellate court law clerks, a Judge of the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline and a former Chairman of the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board.

We are highly experienced in the art of developing winning appellate strategies, crafting persuasive appellate briefs and presenting credible and clear oral arguments. Our team is always focused on optimizing our clients’ likelihood of prevailing on appeal.

What Sets Us Apart

Stevens & Lee’s lawyers have a record of client successes in high-profile, precedent-setting appeals. Our experience covers diverse industries and client types, including financial institutions, health care, insurance, government, procurement, real estate, labor and employment, construction and surety, and intellectual property.

Our appellate team has briefed and argued hundreds of appeals in state and federal appellate courts across the country. In the process, we have developed a strong rapport with — and earned the trust and respect of — the judges of the appellate bench.

Our regular appellate appearances include an extensive practice history before these tribunals:

  • Pennsylvania state appellate courts: Our experience before the Commonwealth’s appellate courts is unparalleled. We are particularly skilled in practice before the Commonwealth Court, a specialized tribunal focused on state and local government and agency disputes, as well as the Pennsylvania Supreme and Superior Courts. Our attorneys have handled commercial, constitutional, administrative agency, Right-to-Know Law, procurement and bid protest, professional licensure, commercial, and state and local tax appeals before Pennsylvania’s appellate courts.
  • New Jersey state appellate courts: We have decades of experience representing our clients before the New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. Much of that experience is tied to Stevens & Lee’s Administrative Law and Government Contracts practice. Our lawyers have handled appeals in countless public contracting disputes and many other kinds of cases, including Open Public Records Act, medical and recreational marijuana, state administrative agency, county and local government and statutory interpretation disputes. Our team also has significant experience in seeking and obtaining emergent relief.
  • Federal appellate courts: We have represented our clients in countless matters in the federal appellate courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Our lawyers have briefed and argued constitutional, white collar criminal, antitrust, commercial and other disputes before these courts.

The Stevens & Lee appellate team also has extensive experience with the unique aspects of appellate practice. For instance, our team has prepared many successful petitions for discretionary appellate review and has successfully opposed such petitions. Our attorneys also have authored many amicus curiae or “friend of the court” briefs to ensure the appellate courts hear the voices of the industry, trade, and other interest groups we represent. And we frequently file and oppose applications for stay or supersedeas in the appellate courts.

In addition, members of our appellate group have been chosen by their peers to lead appellate bar groups and are considered thought leaders in the field. They are frequently asked to write, speak and teach on appellate matters.