Appellate

Overview

The thoughtful, strategic, and rigorous approach that Friedman Kaplan attorneys bring to each matter we address is perhaps nowhere more in evidence than in our appellate practice. Led by a team of top-tier litigators, we represent clients across a broad array of industries in complex commercial and pro bono appeals in federal and state courts, both in connection with matters we have handled from their outset and in cases where we are retained at the appellate stage.

Our appellate practice offers the unique perspective of the Honorable Robert S. Smith, who joined Friedman Kaplan following a decade of service as a judge on the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. Judge Smith, who has argued appeals before the federal appeals courts, New York appellate courts, and United States Supreme Court, offers our clients the perspective of both advocate and judge. Judge Smith, together with accomplished appellate advocates Edward Friedman, Robert Kaplan, and Katherine Pringle, comprise the backbone of the group. Edward Friedman's and Robert Kaplan’s many decades of experience include prosecuting and defending appeals in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the New York Court of Appeals and the New York intermediate appellate courts. Katherine Pringle, a former clerk for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. during his time with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, is an appellate advocate with significant recent victories in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Tenth Circuits.

Our attorneys have achieved victories for our clients on appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, the New York Court of Appeals, and the intermediate appellate courts in New York.

Selected Experience

  • We obtained a Second Circuit decision in favor of Silverstein Properties, Inc., defeating $250 million tort claims by Con Edison related to the collapse of the 7 World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001. In this matter, Friedman Kaplan procured summary judgment in the district court on behalf of its clients, and the decision was upheld on appeal.
  • We obtained a landmark ruling on New York jurisdiction over foreign companies. In a case closely watched by the business community, Friedman Kaplan convinced the New York Appellate Division, First Department, to reject the argument that jurisdiction in New York may be established through Stock Exchange listing, coupled with "ancillary activities" and solicitation of investors in New York. Vindicating important principles of New York law, the Appellate Division directed entry of judgment dismissing all claims against client Excel Maritime Carriers, Ltd.
  • We successfully represented HomeSide Lending, Inc., the U.S.-based subsidiary of National Australia Bank, in district court and on appeal in the Second Circuit in defense of Morrison v. National Australia Bank, a securities class action addressing the "foreign-cubed" extraterritoriality issue in a matter of first impression. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a unanimous decision in favor of our clients and their parent company, represented by Wachtell Lipton.
  • We obtained a Tenth Circuit decision on interpretation of patent licenses, which reversed trial decisions and embraced arguments of our client, a developer and licenser of wireless communications products. Friedman Kaplan was brought in as appellate counsel following a disappointing trial on licensing and patent claims, and obtained a decision overwhelmingly in our client’s favor. We continue to handle the case on remand.
  • We represented a litigation trust formed in the bankruptcy case of Marvel Entertainment Group in litigation against Marvel's former controlling shareholder and affiliated directors. The trust alleged that the shareholder breached his fiduciary obligation to Marvel in connection with three bond offerings by companies he controlled in 1993 and 1994 to raise $553.5 million by issuing bonds secured by these companies' Marvel stock. Friedman Kapan succeeded on appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and obtained a reversal of the District Court’s grant of summary judgment to defendants. On the eve of trial, the litigation resulted in a settlement favorable to our clients.
  • We obtained a ruling by the Second Circuit supporting political asylum for a refugee from Côte D'Ivoire. Friedman Kaplan convinced the Second Circuit that the immigration judge had ignored key facts suggesting that the petitioner, who had suffered multiple beatings on account of his participation in a political rally, had a well-founded fear of future persecution in his home country.

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