Presenting a case to an appellate court is very different than presenting a case to a jury. The appellate process mostly takes place behind closed doors, where busy judges and their staffs read countless briefs. Most cases are decided based on the briefs alone, without any oral hearing. And most appellate judges will tell you that cases are almost always won or lost on the briefs even when there is oral argument. Thus, the quality of your appellate briefs are critical to any appeal.
A good appellate brief must be clear, succinct, and strategic. Shotgun approaches, which are common before trial courts, are often counterproductive.
We take great care in crafting appellate briefs for our clients. “If you cannot explain it simply,” Albert Einstein once said, “you do not understand it well enough.” We work hard to explain our clients’ positions simply, which, we believe, has contributed to our strong track record of appellate success — whether prosecuting an appeal or defending against one, we have won more than 85% of our appellate cases.
We have represented clients before the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Georgia Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Appeals, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Notable appellate cases we’ve handled include Mead v. Sheffield, 601 S.E.2d 99 (Ga. 2004), in which we persuaded the Georgia Supreme Court to reverse the trial court and overturn a statewide election, the first — and still only — successful statewide election challenge in U.S. history. In Alea London Ltd. v. American Home Services, Inc., 638 F.3d 768 (11th Cir. 2011), we persuaded the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the District Court’s holding that an insurance policy didn’t cover claims for illegal telemarketing practices, a decision that put the insurance company on the hook for $459 million.
In Maki v. Real Estate Expert Advisors Inc., 855 S.E.2d 72 (Ga. Ct. App. 2021), we persuaded the Georgia Court of Appeals to reverse a jury-trial verdict against the firm’s client who was represented at trial by a lawyer from a different firm. The general rule is that if your attorney doesn’t object at trial — or if your attorney consents to something — you can’t complain about those things in any appeal. Despite that rule, we were able to persuade the Court of Appeals to reverse the jury’s verdict. The Court of Appeals acknowledged that decisions like the one it entered for our client are “very, very rare.”