Very few cases reach the appellate level. Those that do, shape the law. Appellate advocacy is a specialized practice requiring talents and abilities different from those called for by trial work and other aspects of the practice of law.

Steptoe & Johnson’s Appellate Team offers clients the skill, depth, and experience necessary to handle every appellate matter with zeal and professionalism. Appellate Team members afford clients the advantage of broad experience with state and federal appellate courts and the divergent rules of practice and procedure of each of those forums.

The firm’s Appellate Team defends judgments that the firm’s trial lawyers have helped clients win, seeks review of judgments adverse to clients, and handles appeals for clients represented by other counsel at the trial level. Often, our role begins even before the verdict, as lawyers work with the trial team on preparation of important motions and preservation of issues for appeal.

This collaborative approach benefits the firm’s clients by providing different insights with a view toward appeal and a fresh perspective on the issues presented by each case. Lawyers also consult with outside attorneys, insurers, and corporate law departments on appellate matters, and regularly prepare amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” briefs for businesses and organizations with an interest in the outcome of an appellate case.

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  • Appellate Team members have represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, and we regularly appear in United States Courts of Appeals and state appellate courts
  • Steptoe & Johnson PLLC has been named a Tier 1 firm for Appellate Practice by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” Appellate Team members are ranked among “America’s Top 100 Attorneys” and The Best Lawyers in America® in appellate litigation
  • Appellate Team members are strategically located throughout the firm and are drawn from each of the firm’s four practice departments: Litigation, Energy and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Business. The geographic and practice diversity of Appellate Team members ensures that each case is properly staffed
  • Appellate Team members speak and write on topics related to appellate practice

Areas of Focus

  • Preservation of error in trial proceedings
  • Writ petitions, certified questions, and interlocutory appeals
  • Post-trial motions
  • Supersedeas writs and motions for stay of judgment
  • Appeals and petitions for certiorari
  • Appellate mediations
  • Amicus curiae representations
  • Oral arguments including mooting

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