Appellate Practice

"Very thorough, great communication and excellent legal experience." "Tremendous counsel with a great track record - they are a cut above the rest."
Chambers USA, 2013, NJ and CT Litigation: General Commercial

Day Pitney represents clients before federal and state appellate courts across the country. Our Appellate Practice team helps both existing clients whose cases were handled by our trial attorneys, and clients who first seek our assistance at the appellate stage.

Clients trust our experienced appellate lawyers for their ability to review the record, determine the viability of appeals, identify and brief relevant issues, and effectively argue before the court. Recognizing these unique skills, parties to litigation often seek our advice to secure reversals of adverse rulings, defend successful verdicts and develop strategies for favorable settlements. Clients and our firm's trial counsel also turn to our appellate lawyers for advice on preserving the record and addressing complex legal issues arising in the trial court.

Outside the courtroom, our appellate team presents seminars to our clients' corporate legal staff on case management techniques aimed at reducing technical errors and maximizing the chances of success on appeal. Team members have also published extensively on appellate issues.

Strength in Crucial Business Cases

Our attorneys have handled appeals and proceedings in the U.S. Supreme Court, virtually every U.S. Court of Appeals and most of the state appellate courts in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region, as well as other states as dictated by client needs. These appeals span the full range of our practice areas, including antitrust, banking, bankruptcy, commercial, employment, ERISA, energy, environmental, First Amendment, insurance, health care, intellectual property, products liability, securities, telecommunications and white collar crime.

Clients recently have turned to Day Pitney for help in:
  • Successfully arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that a leading online retail vendor of travel accommodations had no fiduciary duties to putative class plaintiffs, and thus no duty to tell customers that any difference between a bid price and a selected vendor's fee will be kept by the website. Johnson v., Inc., 711 F.3d 271 (2d Cir. 2013)
  • Successfully arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to affirm grant of summary judgment in favor of university defending claims of defamation, negligence and reckless and wanton conduct which sought to recover more than $50 million in alleged damages. Dongguk University v. Yale University, 734 F.3d 113 (2d Cir. 2013)
  • Representing 32 state municipal leagues in a U.S. Supreme Court case holding that the Public Use Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not prohibit a municipality from using eminent domain to take property for purposes of economic development. Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)
  • Successfully arguing before a state Supreme Court that an insurance company was entitled to summary judgment based on an automobile exception in the homeowner's policy. New London County Mut. Ins. Co. v. Nantes, 303 Conn. 737 (2012) 
  • Successfully arguing before a state appellate court to reverse a tax court's revocation of an exemption on property owned by a religious organization. Society of the Holy Child Jesus v. City of Summit, 418 N.J. Super. 365 (N.J. App. Div. 2011)
  • Successfully arguing before a state appellate court that retirement programs lacked standing to pursue claims against principals of an asset management company for losses arising out of the Madoff investment scandal. Retirement Program for Employees of Town of Fairfield v. Madoff, 130 Conn. App. 710 (2011)
  • Successfully arguing before a state appellate court to affirm a judgment exceeding $20 million in a products liability case arising out of an industrial plant explosion. Bodycote IMT, Inc. v. Nalco Co., 2009 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 868 (Mass. App. Ct. 2009)
  • Successfully arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to affirm a judgment dismissing an action brought under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Daunis v. Daunis, 222 Fed. Appx. 32 (2007)
  • Successfully arguing before a state supreme court to reverse a trial court's decision certifying a class action consisting of claims against a property casualty insurer and an annuity company relating to "structured settlements" of personal injury lawsuits. Macomber v. Travelers Prop. & Cas. Corp., 277 Conn. 617 (2006)
  • Successfully arguing before a state Supreme Court to reverse a conviction and order a new trial of a lawyer accused of stealing a client's settlement proceeds. State v. Mahoney, 188 N.J. 359 (2006)
  • Successfully arguing before a state Supreme Court that judges lack the authority to hold a juvenile in criminal contempt of court for violating an order issued pursuant to a family-in-crisis petition. In Re S.S., 183 N.J. 20 (2005)
  • Donating our services pro bono as Special Counsel in a nationally watched death penalty case wherein we litigated the novel issue of whether the inmate had voluntarily waived his legal rights and could thereby be permitted to "volunteer" for the death penalty. State v. Ross, 273 Conn. 684 (2005)
  • Representing a landowner in securing reversals of a summary judgment decision and a trial decision in an environmental cleanup action, and obtaining a remand for new allocation of liability for cleanup costs and leasehold damages. W.R. Grace & Co. v. WEJA, Inc., WL 3435047 (N.J.App. Div. Nov. 30, 2006).
  • Representing a major law firm in a successful appeal of an adverse multimillion dollar jury verdict on malpractice claims, including obtaining an outright dismissal rather than a remand, based on the plaintiff's failure to prove proximate cause. Froom v. Perel, 872 A.2d 1067 (N.J.App. Div. 2005)
  • Representing a major utility in a multimillion dollar construction dispute wherein the owner of a shopping center project sought delay and other damages, and the appellate court was persuaded to stay the litigation in favor of potentially dispositive arbitration among the other parties. Elizabethtown Water Co. v. Watchung Sq. Assoc., LLC, 871 A.2d 140 (N.J.App. Div. 2005)