Appellate advocacy demands three distinct skills: (i) thorough research focused on the types of issues of concern to appellate judges; (ii) the reformulation of issues through trenchant analysis and attentiveness to the rule being sought; and (iii) highly developed written and oral advocacy skills keyed to the unique conditions of the appellate or Supreme Court forum.
The consistently successful use of these skills in high-profile, high-stakes cases is the trademark of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s appellate practice. The appellate practice’s success is supported by the firm’s broad-gauged litigation practice, its global scope and the hand-in-glove cooperation among the firm’s practices. Consequently, clients with issues in disciplines as diverse as labor and employment, intellectual property and constitutional law are ensured of receiving targeted and powerful representation.
We brief and argue dozens of cases every year on behalf of businesses, trade associations and white collar criminal defendants in the United States Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, state supreme courts and state courts of appeal. We served as counsel for parties in three Supreme Court merits cases both this Term and last Term.
Akin Gump’s appellate practice is nationally recognized as comprising exceptionally experienced and respected figures in the courtroom. Prominent in the practice are a former federal appellate court judge, a former state appellate court judge and a former long-term assistant to the Solicitor General. This team of lawyers brings more than a half-century and hundreds of appeals’ worth of experience to bear on any case. The practice includes lawyers with years logged as clerks at almost every level of the judicial system, including the U.S. Supreme Court, state supreme courts, federal appellate circuit courts, federal district courts and bankruptcy courts, as well as the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. As a result, every appeal we handle is fortified by first-hand knowledge both of what judges want and need to know to decide the case and of how best to present that information, particularly when the judges know little about the area of law or industry in question.
Three of our appellate lawyers have been named as fellows of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Additionally, Law360 recently named our practice Appellate Practice of the Year for 2012. The award is based on the number of suits won over the last year and the significance, size and complexity of those wins. Akin Gump has also been a mainstay on The National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List” as one of the nation’s top appellate firms each year since they started the awards in 2008 and the practice is consistently ranked by Chambers as a leader in the field.
Every term, the firm’s Supreme Court practice participates at both the petition and merits stages in the Supreme Court to obtain or resist Supreme Court review, to organize amicus curiae efforts, to file amicus briefs and to litigate cases through both briefing and oral argument.
What this means for our clients is a seamless continuum of appellate know-how that extends from collaborating with trial counsel on strategic and tactical matters to raise all applicable arguments and make appropriate records at the trial court level through deploying our extensive and hands-on experience on appeal to seeking or preventing Supreme Court review. The depth, breadth and quality of experience possessed by Akin Gump’s appellate practice is such that lawyers from around the country—including accomplished appellate lawyers—regularly consult our lawyers on complex, critical matters.