Appellate Law


As one of the first law firms in the Midwest to recognize the benefits of providing experienced appellate advocates for its clients, Plunkett Cooney has maintained a distinct appellate practice group for nearly four decades.

Our appellate lawyers have the experience and accomplishments to place them within the top firms in the field. This experience includes serving as lead counsel in more than 1,500 cases decided by state and federal appellate courts, including all appellate courts in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Iowa, and California, as well as numerous federal circuit courts of appeal.

Additional points of distinction are that our attorneys have argued cases before the Michigan Supreme Court during each term since 1988, and they have appeared before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals hundreds of times. In fact, our attorneys are well known by that court’s staff, mediators, and judges. The firm’s national appellate practice includes numerous states in which our attorneys are fully licensed and other jurisdictions where they are working with local counsel pro hac vice.

Our attorneys have served as counsel for a variety of clients in all major areas of corporate, commercial, and public law litigation. Members of our appellate practice group are regularly retained to handle cutting edge appeals involving issues of first impression or to seek reversal of large adverse judgments. Excellent oralists and brief writers, they have prepared and argued numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of firm clients and interested parties in state and federal courts.  

In addition to providing representation before the appellate courts, our appellate attorneys offer a broad range of specialized services. They are often called upon to work with trial teams regarding issues of law, preservation of issues for appellate review, and to make other substantive, procedural and strategic decisions. Our attorneys also provide valuable insight regarding appropriate settlement strategies based on their extensive appellate experience and knowledge.

Rendering legal opinions on constitutional, statutory, and other issues to guide clients is another important aspect of the firm’s appellate practice. When developing strategies for a difficult bet-the-company case, our appellate lawyers are often called upon to advise clients on the best approach to pursue the desired legal results. Experienced settlement negotiators, our attorneys are well-equipped to achieve favorable results when possible. They are familiar with appellate mediation, as practiced in state and federal courts, and their participation in such proceedings enables them to become familiar with appellate mediators to build credibility on behalf of their clients.

As a result of an excellent reputation in this area of practice, our attorneys not only handle appellate proceedings in cases for which the firm serves as trial counsel, but they are also regularly asked by other firms to serve as lead appellate counsel for their post-trial cases. Our attorneys work with the trial team to ensure that the strongest presentation of the client’s position is made. Their knowledge of the intricacies of appellate jurisdiction, stays and bonds, and appellate advocacy enables them to offer distinctive expertise to assist their clients achieve the optimal result.

In significant appellate cases, our attorneys have addressed complex issues involving commercial law, class actions, mass tort and environmental law, contract disputes, employment law, insurance coverage, product liability, construction law, real estate law, banking and finance, trademark and copyright, title insurance, medical malpractice, negligence, utility regulation, telecommunications law and numerous other matters.

Our appellate practice group includes a former chief judge of the Michigan Court of appeals and several appellate lawyers have previously served as judicial clerks at the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, or for other appellate courts. Additionally, they have worked with the appellate bench in bar organizations and on appellate court committees. These activities have given them a broad base of knowledge about the substantive and procedural law as it relates to appellate practice.

Plunkett Cooney provides its lawyers with state-of-the-art computer technology and one of the most extensive in-house legal research libraries in the Midwest to provide exceptional appellate representation in all types of cases. Our appellate lawyers’ thorough knowledge of the tools of research allows them to find required legal answers efficiently and creatively for our clients.
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