Appellate Law

Effective appellate representation requires understanding the nature of appellate decision-making and the limited role of the appellate courts.

Key Contacts

Christopher Pooser Partner Boise, ID
Jill D. Bowman Partner Seattle, WA
Overview

The attorneys in our appellate group recognize that appellate advocacy is far different than advocacy before a trial court or agency. They understand the need to review the case just as the appellate court does, to select and shape the strongest arguments in light of the standards of review, and to develop a deep understanding of the facts and law at issue.  

Our appellate attorneys handle cases across a broad range of corporate, commercial, constitutional and civil rights law. This includes commercial disputes, business torts, labor and employment issues, intellectual property rights, product liability claims, environmental compliance, bankruptcy resolution, and claims brought under federal and state securities laws and state unfair practices laws. Our clients are public and private companies, partnerships, individuals, government and nonprofit organizations. 

Members of our team are admitted to practice and have argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits; and numerous state jurisdictions. Many of our appellate attorneys gained valuable insights and perspective on court strategy and process early in our careers through judicial clerkship positions in federal and state courts. Today, we hold committee positions with a variety of professional organizations and are viewed as respected thought leaders who write and lecture frequently about appellate law process and strategies. 

Our services

We’re retained to challenge adverse rulings on appeal or to preserve favorable rulings from a lower court or regulatory agency. We’re highly experienced in providing concise and forceful appeal briefs and delivering persuasive oral arguments. We identify and argue critical legal issues in light of the applicable standard of review and have a solid track record of favorable appellate results—both on behalf of named parties and interested amicus organizations.

Our success in large part is due to our close coordination with trial attorneys throughout our firm as we co-develop comprehensive strategies to position cases for successful resolution. Given our collaborative work style as a full-service litigation team, we often are consulted early in the trial process. Our substantive knowledge of distinct areas of law, and understanding of applicable rules and procedures, brings value to specialized and complex cases. We ensure issues are properly preserved and that the trial court record includes all evidence necessary to sustain appeal arguments.

As an integral part of the trial team, our appellate attorneys can handle tasks that can arise both before and during trial. Examples include:

  • Temporary injunctions and the appeal from the court's ruling granting or denying such relief
  • Motions to certify issues (in federal court)
  • Preparing or responding to discovery and evidentiary motions
  • Preparing or responding to motions for summary judgment and other dispositive motions
  • Preparing and responding to trial briefs and post-trial motions
  • Preparing and responding to proposed jury instructions
  • Monitoring trial to assist in preserving appellate arguments, particularly when the case poses a high risk of an adverse jury verdict
  • Handling mandamus actions or interlocutory appeals prior to trial
Matters
  • Balla et al. v. Idaho State Board of Correction et al., Case No. 15-35996 (9th Circuit). Represent respondents (a class of inmates) concerning an award of attorney fees and limitations under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.   
  • Union Bank, N.A. v. North Idaho Resorts, LLC, Docket No. 42467-2015 and Union Bank, N.A. v. JV LLC, Docket No. 42479-2015 (Idaho Supreme Court). Represent Respondent Union Bank concerning lien priority to real property that was part of a failed resort development.
  • Patricia Marek et al. v. Hecla Limited et al., Docket No. 43269-2015 (Idaho Supreme Court). Filed an amicus brief for Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry concerning an exception to workers’ exclusive remedy under Idaho’s worker’s compensation law.
  • Jane Doe I and John Doe I v. Jane Doe II and John Doe II, 160 Idaho 311, 372 P.3d 366 (2016). Successfully represented appellants, obtaining reversal of the trial court’s appointment of respondents as co-guardians of a minor child.
  • Davies v. Davies, 160 Idaho 74, 368 P.3d 1017 (Ct. App. 2016). Successfully represented the respondent, obtaining affirmance of the trial court’s attorney fee and child support awards.
  • Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Co. v. Witherspoon, 159 Idaho 679, 365 P.3d 1033 (2016). Successfully represented Appellant Liberty Bankers Life Insurance Company, obtaining reversal of the trial court’s rulings on lien priority to real property and a commercial marina. 
  • Gordon v. Hedrick, 159 Idaho 604, 364 P.3d 951 (2015). Successfully represented appellant, obtaining reversal of the intermediate appellate court’s ruling that a “mutual mistake” of fact is required to rescind a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.    
  • California Air Res. Bd. v. Franklin Fueling Sys., Inc., No. B252455, 2015 WL 8455538 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 8, 2015). Successfully represented Respondent Franklin Fueling Systems (with co-counsel; briefing only), obtaining affirmance of the trial court’s ruling that the California Air Resources Board failed to prove Franklin Fueling Systems violated an air pollution statute governing gasoline vapor recovery systems.
Team
Insights & Presentations
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