Appellate

Simplify Your Approach
Arent Fox's Appellate group has earned a reputation for aggressively and effectively managing high-stakes, precedent-setting appeals that protect our clients' interests. Arent Fox attorneys have broad experience in complex appellate litigation at nearly every level of the federal and state court systems.

Our Approach

Whether seeking to preserve a trial victory or overturn an adverse decision, achieving success on appeal requires a mastery of the underlying  facts and law, coupled with a thorough understanding of the unique substantive and procedural considerations that drive decision-making in the appellate courts. Appellate litigators must leverage a full command of the lower court record while crafting compelling arguments for a judicial audience whose entire exposure to the case will consist of the written briefs and oral argument presented by the attorneys. A fresh perspective is vital when pursuing or resisting an appeal, and the involvement of experienced appellate litigators can often be the difference between victory and defeat. 

Arent Fox’s appellate litigation team has a proven track record of success in the state and federal appellate courts, regularly representing parties and amici across the full spectrum of appellate disputes. Arent Fox’s appellate practice is led by partner Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, a top-tier appellate litigator with a national reputation for handling high-profile and precedent-setting appeals, particularly in matters involving cutting-edge issues of eminent domain, property law, and election law.  In addition to Mr. Hearne, the firm’s appellate team is anchored by a core group of accomplished appellate attorneys whose prior experience as judicial law clerks in federal and state courts of appeal provides clients with invaluable insight into the strategies and arguments that will persuade appellate judges. 

Our Work

Time and again, clients have turned to Arent Fox’s Appellate practice when facing appeals where critical interests are at stake.  And from the state and federal appellate courts to the US Supreme Court, Arent Fox’s appellate team has a proven track record of successful representation on behalf of corporate and individual clients in appeals arising from complex commercial, Constitutional, and white-collar matters. Recent and representative federal appellate matters handled by members of the Arent Fox appellate team include:

  • Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, 137 S. Ct. 2012 (2017) (representation of leading amici in support of position adopted by the Supreme Court majority)
  • United States v. Jones, 858 F.3d 221 (4th Cir. 2017) (successful dismissal of federal conspiracy charge on Double Jeopardy grounds)
  • Vohra v. City of Placentia, 683 Fed. Appx. 564 (9th Cir. 2017) (reversal of improper dismissal of client’s claims under the First Amendment and Section 1983)
  • Beck Chevrolet Co., Inc. v. General Motors LLC, 845 F.3d 68 (2d Cir. 2016) (on behalf of auto dealer franchisee, obtained complete reversal of District Court judgment in favor of franchisor automobile manufacturer)
  • Lee v. Virginia State Board of Elections, 843 F.3d 592 (4th Cir. 2016) (acting as special counsel to Commonwealth of Virginia, successfully defended Virginia’s photo identification statute against First Amendment and Equal Protection challenges)
  • Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd. v. C.I.R., 812 F.3d 982 (11th Cir. 2016) (successful preservation of trial court victory in $20 million tax dispute concerning IRS’s attempted disallowance of charitable deduction relating to Florida conservation easement).

Key Contacts