Appellate Law


As one of the first law firms in the Midwest to recognize the benefits of experienced appellate advocates for its clients, Plunkett Cooney has maintained a distinct appellate practice group for nearly four decades. Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have the experience and accomplishments to place them within the top firms in the field. 

Over the last 20 years, Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have been lead counsel in more than 1,500 cases decided by state and federal appellate courts, including all Michigan appellate courts, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Indiana appellate courts, the California Court of Appeals, and numerous federal circuit courts of appeal. Our lawyers have argued cases before the Michigan Supreme Court during each term since 1988. Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have appeared before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals hundreds of times, and are well known by that court’s staff, mediators and judges. Plunkett Cooney’s lawyers are able to handle appeals throughout the country, either in the many jurisdictions in which they have been admitted or working with local counsel pro hac vice.

Plunkett Cooney’s lawyers have been counsel for a wide 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. Our lawyers have also prepared numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of firm clients for filing in state and federal courts.   

Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers are able to offer a broad range of specialized services in addition to representation before the appellate courts. Our lawyers are often called upon to work with the trial teams regarding issues of law, preservation of issues for appellate review, and other substantive, procedural, and strategic decisions. In addition, our appellate lawyers provide valuable insight regarding appropriate settlement decisions based on their appellate experience and knowledge. 

The firm is also frequently engaged to render legal opinions on constitutional, statutory and other issues to guide client conduct. When developing strategy for a difficult bet-the-company case, Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers are often called upon to advise clients of the best approach to pursue the desired legal results. Plunkett Cooney’s lawyers are experienced negotiators. When the strategy involves settlement, they are well-equipped to achieve a favorable settlement when possible. Our lawyers are familiar with appellate mediation as practiced in state and federal courts, and their participation in numerous mediations enables them to become familiar with appellate mediators and to build credibility with them on behalf of their clients. 

Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have an excellent reputation for success, which has resulted in a great deal of referral business. Our appellate lawyers not only handle appellate proceedings in cases for which the firm is trial counsel, but they are also regularly asked to serve as lead appellate counsel in cases in which other firms have handled the trial court proceedings. As appellate counsel, our lawyers 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, we 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, mass tort, environmental liability, class action, banking and finance, trademark and copyright, title insurance, medical malpractice, negligence, utility regulation, telecommunications law and other matters. Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have repeatedly won major victories before courts of last resort, reversing judgments and overturning past precedent to achieve a favorable legal rule. Our lawyers have had unparalleled success in the public law arena handling cutting edge issues of constitutional and statutory law, including appeals involving governmental immunity, civil rights, FOIA, tax and condemnation law.  

Many of Plunkett Cooney’s appellate lawyers have served as judicial clerks at the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and on other appellate courts. In addition, they have worked with the appellate bench in bar organizations and on appellate court committees. These activities have given them a broad knowledge of the substantive and procedural law as it relates to appellate practice.

Our lawyers are excellent oralists, having honed their argument skills over years of practice dedicated to appellate law. Because our lawyers focus their practices exclusively on appellate law, they gain increased familiarity with the appellate justices and judges serving on the state and federal courts. Our frequent presence in these appellate arenas allow the judges and court staff to become familiar with us and our high level of practice. 

Plunkett Cooney’s lawyers have all the advantages of state-of-the-art computer technology and one of the most extensive in-house legal research libraries in the Midwest in order 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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