Appellate Litigation

Freeborn has long been recognized for its strong and versatile Litigation Practice. When disputes arise, clients turn to us because we have dozens of trial-ready attorneys capable of trying cases in courtrooms across the nation. We recognize, however, that the ultimate resolution of hard-fought litigation often depends upon winning the appeal. With an Appellate Law Practice Group equipped to handle these matters quickly, efficiently and effectively, our clients stay with us through the final resolution.

Our attorneys are members of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court and every U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and include several former clerks to federal and state appellate judges. 

With our broad appellate experience, we work with clients to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of potential appeals, identify the critical issues and efficiently craft clear and persuasive briefs to maximize the likelihood of success. Simply said, we understand what it takes to prevail on appeal -- exemplary writing, persuasive oral arguments and mastery of the record and appellate rules.  Our focus is on working hand-in-hand with trial counsel to present the case in the most powerful way possible.

We have won key, precedent-setting appeals in a broad range of matters, including:

  • Successfully appealed a lawsuit brought against a large national bank.  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the case should be dismissed and, in the process, established new law in the Circuit regarding the "citizenship" of a national bank for diversity jurisdiction purposes.

  • Won the appeal of a multi-million dollar shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit raising complex issues regarding buy-sell agreements and the permissible measure of damages.  The appeal ultimately made its way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
  • Won an appeal before the South Dakota Supreme Court raising issues covering the measure of damages in a breach of fiduciary lawsuit as well as issues regarding claims preclusion, issue preclusion and the proper purchase price of stock under a buy-sell agreement.
  • Successful appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals of an adverse jury verdict in an antitrust lawsuit and then defeated plaintiff's petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • In an expedited proceeding, obtained an appellate decision affirming the trial court’s preliminary injunction ruling in favor of a real estate developer, preventing a neighboring property owner from further blocking the progress of a multi-million dollar development project.

  • Obtained certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court in a criminal matter, leading to a summary reversal of the court of appeals’ ruling against the client.

  • Successful appeal of an antitrust case brought against the client, a manufacturer of food processing equipment, by a former distributor. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed without remand an adverse judgment in the district court.

  • On behalf of a wireless broadcasting client, won the Washington, D.C. Circuit’s reversal of an injunction entered at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Secured an appellate decision affirming judgment in favor of client-employer on claims of sex and race-based employment discrimination and retaliation bought by a discharged supervisor. The Seventh Circuit opinion is often cited as providing the standards for proving “pretext” under the familiar McDonnell Douglas burden shifting test used in Title VII cases.