Appellate

Overview

Dykema recognizes the importance of an appeal.  Appeals can correct an unjust result, or nullify a victory. But the key to correction and protection is the same — extensive appellate expertise, experience, and the all-important fresh (but keenly focused) eyes. Dykema has a dedicated team of appellate lawyers who understand that the best preparation for an appeal begins long before the judgment, verdict, or other ruling to be reviewed is rendered. We collaborate closely with trial lawyers at all stages of the litigation to identify potential appellate issues and their preservation. We also work together with trial counsel in post-trial proceedings and during the course of the appeal to provide expert briefing and argument of the issues.

Clients often retain us to enter a case for the first time on appeal, and in such cases we have repeatedly obtained reversals of adverse decisions or sustained favorable rulings. In addition, trade associations, professional groups and charitable organizations frequently call upon us to file amicus curiae briefs, due to our strong ability to research, craft and communicate compelling arguments that ensure their voices are heard in the cases that could affect them. Flexible fee arrangements may also be explored.

Our appellate lawyers are experienced in the all of the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, and many state appellate courts, including numerous state Supreme Courts. And our team members have experience in all types of appeals, including emergency appeals, en banc proceedings, emergency election law appeals and appeals, from administrative agency rulings, and in virtually every substantive area of law. With our substantial experience before appellate courts—as well as our ability to communicate complex legal issues in ways that will resonate—Dykema’s appellate team helps ensure our clients put forth the strongest possible case in their quest for a favorable decision.

Experience Matters

Our recent significant experience includes:

  • Petitpas v. Ford Motor Co. Dykema represented Ford in this asbestos appeal in the California Court of Appeal resulting in a published opinion holding auto manufacturers are not liable for asbestos containing brake replacement parts.
  • Covenant v. State Farm. Dykema represented State Farm in this seminal Michigan Supreme Court case which held health care providers may not sue auto insurers for payments for services provided to auto accident victims.
  • Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools. Dykema represented Fry in the United States Supreme Court in a highly watched case where Fry sued her former school district for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was dismissed at the district court level for failure to exhaust administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, creating a circuit split. Arguments were heard in November 2016 and in February 2017, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in Fry's favor.

  • Lafontaine v. Chrysler Group. Dykema obtained a favorable ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court, holding that amendments to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act cannot be applied retroactively, thus allowing our client Chrysler Group and other OEMs more opportunities to open dealerships.

  • State of Michigan v. CVS Caremark, et al. Dykema obtained a favorable ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court dismissing claims against our client Kmart Corp. in a case regarding failure to meet the pleading requirements.

  • GM Sign Inc. v. State Farm. Dykema obtained a victory from an Illinois Court of Appeals holding that our client State Farm had no duty to defend a policyholder against a multi-million dollar class action alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

  • In re Ford Motor Co. Dykema obtained a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court in favor of our client Ford imposing a new outer limit on discovery from expert witnesses.

  • Kim v. JP Morgan Chase.  Dykema obtained a partial reversal from the Michigan Supreme Court in this case, garnering a ruling that has significantly changed consumer finance law in Michigan. The Court accepted Dykema’s argument, made on behalf of our client Chase, that a violation of the foreclosure by advertisement statute does not render the foreclosure void, but merely voidable, and the borrower must show prejudice as a result of the violation.

  • Standard Fire Ins Co. v. Ford Motor Co. Dykema obtained a published decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of appeals which is likely to be oft-cited on choice of law principals. The court held that in this products liability action brought in Michigan, Tennessee law applied and since the TN statute of repose barred the claim, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Ford was affirmed.

  • Cooper v. Asset Acceptance, LLC.  Dykema obtained a decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals holding that Asset did not waive its right to invoke an arbitration clause in this purported class action, and affirming the dismissal of plaintiffs' claims.

  • EFA v. ABC Hotel and Restaurant Supply. Dykema obtained a decision of the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Texas, affirming a multi-issue grant of summary judgment to our client, ABC Hotel & Restaurant Supply, in a complex commercial dispute arising from ABC's attempt to acquire its leading competitor, New York-based restaurant supply company EFA.

  • Halvorson v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co. Dykema obtained a published decision of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversing the certification of a class action on the grounds that individual issues predominated. This reversal came after a successful FRCP 23(f) petition of interlocutory review.

  • Bridgeview Health Care Center v. State Farm Fire and Casualty. Dykema obtained an opinion from the Illinois Court of Appeals, again involving choice of law issues, and holding that state courts may consider federal court opinions in ascertaining another state's law and reversing the decision against our client.

  • Edmunson v. Procter & Gamble Co. Dykema obtained an opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the dismissal of a nationwide consumer class action.

  • ADT Security Services v. Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District. Dykema obtained a published opinion from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming a grant of a permanent injunction in favor of our client, holding that defendants could not engage in fire alarm monitoring.

  • Mook v. Draper Chevrolet. Dykema obtained a decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals affirming the grant of summary disposition to defendant in this personal injury case, holding essentially that plaintiff could not make an end run around the Michigan statute that protects non-manufacturing product sellers from liability for personal injury claims by bringing suit against a dealer.

  • Nemmers v Ford Motor Co. Dykema obtained a significant victory in the Eight Circuit, which affirmed a jury verdict in Ford’s favor following a trial alleging seatbelt design defects.

  • GM Sign, Inc v State Farm Fire & Casualty.  Dykema obtained a reversal from the Illinois Appellate Court and vacatur of an order granting final approval of a class action settlement.

  • Saurman v. Residential Funding. Dykema obtained reversal in this highly watched case regarding the ability of certain parties to foreclose on residential properties in Michigan. In a case affecting numerous transactions, we entered the case at the Supreme Court level, and filed  a successful application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court, which then reversed the previous ruling adverse to the client banks.

  • Smith v. Ford Motor Company. Dykema represented Ford Motor Company in this appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the denial of class certification in this alleged multimillion dollar product liability class action.

  • Angelotti v. Walt Disney. Dykema obtained affirmance by the California Court of Appeals of the dismissal of a suit brought by the stunt man for The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, with the court’s finding that the plaintiff was barred by the worker’s compensation exclusive remedy statute being significant in the entertainment industry as it addresses the level of control over filming required by a studio in order for it to be held liable for on-set injuries.

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