At Sedgwick LLP, we believe that in high-stakes litigation, the appellate lawyer is a key member of the trial team. While the trial team works to win the case at trial, our appellate lawyers focus on what might happen afterwards. Beginning even before the jury is chosen, they work to ensure that the client’s themes and points are presented in the best way to persuade an appellate court, and that the client’s objections to any adverse decisions have been preserved, sometimes briefing and arguing key motions before the trial court themselves. But just as importantly, our appellate lawyers manage the client’s appellate strategy, helping the trial team craft the client’s arguments with an eye towards not just what the law is, but what the law may soon become because of not-yet-decided cases pending in the appellate courts. Our appellate lawyers have briefed and argued many post-trial motions in the trial courts, reducing adverse judgments and improving the record for appeal before the appeal ever begins. They also frequently appear before higher courts as amicus in cases presenting related issues, helping move the law in a more beneficial direction before the client’s case is decided.

Led by a long-time elected member of the select California Academy of Appellate Lawyers who is perennially named to Best Lawyers in America in appellate law, our team includes three attorneys certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as appellate specialists.  We represent new clients who turn to Sedgwick after suffering adverse outcomes and defend trial court victories secured by the firm’s litigators. Sedgwick’s appellate lawyers frequently speak and write on emerging issues of appellate law.

During the past several years we have handled appellate matters involving:

  • Punitive damages, including excessive punitive damage awards, the constitutionality of California’s retroactive revival of punitive damages on time-barred claims, and the imposition of punitive damages on successor corporations.
  • Insurance coverage and bad faith, including availability of “bad faith” tort damages in actions for non-claims handling related conduct brought by insureds against insurers.
  • Daubert and the admissibility of “junk science” expert testimony in state and federal courts.
  • State and federal constitutional law, including establishment, due process, equal protection and commerce clause issues.
  • Healthcare, managed care and ERISA.
  • Products liability, including medical device and pharmaceutical.
  • Business torts, fraud, tortious interference, and unfair competition.
  • Construction defect litigation.
  • Malicious prosecution and anti-SLAPP motions.
  • Employment law and civil rights issues, including retaliation, discrimination and harassment.
  • Complex statute of limitations issues in multi-defendant tort actions.
  • Application of the litigation privilege to libel claims against attorneys.
  • A physician’s right to assert his patient’s right to medical record confidentiality.
  • Federal preemption of state law tort claims against defendants in a variety of industries.
  • Standards for awarding medical monitoring damages in “fear of cancer” tort cases.