Appellate

Foley’s Appellate attorneys focus a substantial portion of their practices on appellate advocacy and counseling.
Our Appellate attorneys assist clients with all appellate-related aspects of litigation. We regularly undertake full responsibility for handling appeals; on other occasions, we advise our colleagues and clients on how best to conduct their own appellate work. We are always able to draw upon the extraordinary breadth of substantive legal knowledge offered by Foley attorneys, who between them are active in virtually every conceivable practice area.

In appellate work, as in all the litigation and dispute resolution services of our litigators, our focus is on applying the full resources of the firm in the most efficient and cost-effective manner to meet your needs. Where necessary, our representation can include a team of attorneys that efficiently blend appellate and trial experience from a cross-section of disciplines and industry groups. In appropriate matters, our Appellate attorneys are involved in strategizing during all phases of the litigation process, in order to ensure that the case is best positioned for appellate success even while pursuing effective dispute resolution in trial.

We have handled appeals in a variety of areas:

Antitrust: We have extensive experience litigating at trial and on appeal a broad variety of significant antitrust and competition matters. Between our Antitrust and antitrust Appellate attorneys, we have argued or briefed nearly every type of significant antitrust case.

Bankruptcy: Foley’s Bankruptcy & Business Reorganizations Practice is national, with a number of senior practitioners and generalists as well as partners with significant experience in particular industries. We have represented a range of parties — creditors’ committees, liquidating trustees, and debtors — in appeals involving asset sales, breach of fiduciary duty, and summary judgment rulings.

Distribution and franchise issues: A signature strength of our firm, we have represented clients in a range of litigation and appeals, including major retail and distribution organizations, on such issues as Wisconsin Uniform Sales Act, ground-breaking employment law, and distribution and franchise rights.

Environmental, natural resource, and property rights matters: Working with our Environmental Regulation Practice, we have represented private parties as well as public interest groups in appeals involving environmental cleanup liability under CERCLA, municipal water rights, reclamation, and sewerage, air permitting, and land and property rights. Opposing parties have included state attorneys general, regulatory enforcement agencies, and powerful private interest groups.

Health care and regulation of the medical profession: Our health care appellate clients have included hospitals, medical centers, and physicians groups. We have appealed rulings in suits involving allegations of fraud, waste, mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duty, and defamation, as well as employment issues. Our Appellate Practice works closely with our renowned Health Care Industry Team, recognized as the “Law Firm of the Year — Health Care Law" by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms" for our work in the health care industry (2012 – 2014).

Product liability: Our team has briefed and argued issues in toxic tort and product liability litigation in appellate courts at a number of levels. These issues include class certification and mass consolidation matters, preemption, the standards for the admissibility of scientific evidence, and punitive damages. We also regularly work with trial counsel to assist in the briefing of such issues at the trial level, as well as to assist with trial strategy.

Securities: Working with lawyers from our Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practice, our Appellate attorneys have successfully opposed the certification of consumer class actions in numerous state, federal, and international jurisdictions and tribunals.

Representative Matters

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Represented Pacific Alliance Medical Center Inc. — the general partner of a partnership owning a hospital in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles — along with certain of its directors through trial and appeal in a class action brought by limited partners alleging fraud, waste, mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duty, and self-dealing related to a complex network of investments owned by the partnership. The case was tried together with two defamation cases among the parties and a declaratory relief action related to the enforceability of certain provisions of the partnership agreement. Two other related cases were brought by the limited partners and were dismissed before trial. There was a complete defense judgment on the class action and substantial monetary recoveries against one limited partner in both defamation actions. The class action defense judgment was upheld on appeal, after unsuccessful motions to disqualify her and her law firm in both the trial and appellate courts. The issues on appeal included whether there was substantial evidence to support the judgment and whether the trial court correctly denied the motion to disqualify counsel.
Represented James O'Shaughnessy, a former in-house IP attorney at Rockwell Automation, in an important suit regarding limitations on the ability of a plaintiff to sue corporate representatives who travel to Illinois on behalf of their employers. Under the "fiduciary shield" doctrine, an employee is not susceptible to personal jurisdiction in Illinois if the employee acted in the employer's interest, even though the employer had not compelled the employee to travel to Illinois. The trial court initially interpreted the doctrine more narrowly. It was appealed and in January 2009, won a ruling from the Illinois Appellate Court, reversing the circuit court’s interpretation of the fiduciary shield doctrine and remanding for hearing regarding personal jurisdiction. Femal v. Square D. Company, 338 Ill.App.3d 134 (1st Dist. 2009). Following an evidentiary hearing in July 2009, the trial court dismissed O'Shaughnessy from the Illinois litigation based upon a lack of personal jurisdiction.
In a 5-2 decision affecting hundreds of civil sexual abuse cases throughout the state, the California Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal and ruled in favor of our client, holding that the plaintiffs' claims were barred under the statute. The case involved the interpretation of a 2002 amendment to the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims. The decision established significant precedent in several areas of law, including when statutes of limitations can be read to revive retroactively previously time-barred claims. The Supreme court ruling affects all institutions that regularly deal with children.