Appellate

Over the last 135 years, Taft’s appellate attorneys have briefed and argued cases in federal and state courts across the country. Due to the depth of our experience, our attorneys know how to navigate a case effectively through the courts. Because of our recognized experience before reviewing courts, our attorneys are specifically brought into cases after trial to represent both established clients and new clients on appeal. 

While there is no formula for handling every appeal, our team is suited for any challenge. Our approach is simple:

We focus. Our appellate attorneys have in-depth knowledge of substantive areas of law. We are experienced in disputes involving contracts, insurance, and antitrust regulations. Select experience includes representing a Fortune 500 company in an appeal from a multimillion-dollar breach of contract jury verdict; representing a title company in an insurance coverage dispute; and representing a group of domestic agricultural companies on an international antitrust claim. This knowledge allows our attorneys to devote their time to crafting sound, winning arguments.

We work. We are creative and collaborative, developing persuasive arguments that are well-researched and well-written. From start to finish, our attorneys are committed to putting our clients in the best position possible, not only in terms of winning individual cases for our clients, but also in terms of shaping the law in a positive way to assure our clients’ long-term interests. 

We innovate. While a winning decision is our goal for every client, we recognize that some wins take place outside of the courtroom. Our practice group includes former U.S. Court of Appeals clerks, state supreme court clerks, and state appellate court clerks, giving us extraordinary insight and experience as to the inner workings of and informal procedures in each forum in which we practice.

We take pride in what we do. The best appellate practitioners are at once experts and generalists. They have the knowledge to understand complex real world issues and the general experience to explain those issues in persuasive terms the reviewing court can easily apply. This is what our appellate team does best, combining top-flight legal analysis with exceptional persuasive skills. Not only are our clients pleased with the wins we have achieved for them, but numerous legal publications have noted our appellate accomplishments and experience. Our appellate attorneys are also consistently ranked in such publications as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation and Leading Lawyers.

Related Practices

Awards

  • Ranked National Tier 1
    by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 
    2020 “Best Law Firms”

Notable Matters

Some of our representative wins include:

  • Florez v. Northshore Univ. Healthsystem, 2020 IL App (1st) 190465. 
    Successfully argued for the reversal of a $50.3 million jury verdict against Taft client NorthShore University HealthSystem, an integrated healthcare system serving patients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. The case concerned a claim brought against NorthShore and its treaters for their alleged negligence in connection with the labor and delivery of Julien Florez, a minor. Plaintiffs claimed that NorthShore’s treaters failed to deliver Julien by C-section in a timely manner, resulting in cognitive, intellectual, and physical deficits. NorthShore defended that Julien’s injuries were actually the result of a chronic process that occurred long before his mother arrived at the hospital.
  • Bradley Ledure v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 19-2164 (7th Cir. 2020)
    Successfully argued for the affirmance of a summary judgment decision in favor of Taft client Union Pacific Railroad Company. The plaintiff, Bradley LeDure, brought claims against the railroad under the Locomotive Inspect Act (LIA) and the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), following an injury he allegedly sustained while working on a locomotive. The appeal centered on whether the locomotive from which LeDure fell was “in use,” a threshold statutory requirement for liability under the LIA.
  • Turubchuk v. Southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc., No. 18-3507 (7th Cir. 2020)
    Successfully argued for the reversal of an $8.1 million verdict entered against Taft client Southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc. (SIAC). The case concerned a negligent misrepresentation claim filed against SIAC years after an underlying case against SIAC arising from a fatal car crash in southern Illinois settled.
  • Phoenix Lighting Group, L.L.C. v. Genlyte Thomas Group, L.L.C., Slip Opinion No. 2020-Ohio-1056
    Received a favorable opinion from the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of our client, a lighting fixtures company. The decision ended more than 10 years of contentious litigation. At issue in the case was whether the prevailing party in a business tort lawsuit between two companies should be entitled to an enhancement of its attorneys’ fees award. The Ohio Supreme Court held that the enhancement was improper and modified Ohio law accordingly. Taft knew this was an issue of interest to the Ohio Supreme Court, and tailored our arguments to achieve this favorable result.
  • Enbridge Energy, Ltd. P’ship v. Oldcastle APG South, Inc., 2019 IL App (3d) 180060-U
    Represented a leading Midwest manufacturer of architectural masonry and hardscape products in appeal of a case involving an oil spill, which the plaintiff said was the result of our client's failure to maintain a water service line on its property. The appeal led to a reversal of the $45 million verdict. 
  • Centegra Hospital-McHenry v. Mercy Crystal Lake Hosp. & Med. Ctr., Inc., 2019 IL App (2d) 180731
    Represented a non-profit health care provider and hospital system in successfully arguing for the reversal of a trial court decision blocking the construction of a hospital in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The case concerned an effort by our client's competitors to block a hospital project in court after failing to block it before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board, which earlier approved the project. The Taft team convinced the appellate court to reverse the trial court’s order and reinstate the Board’s approval for the project, allowing our client's construction to move forward.
  • City of Hammond v. Herman & Kittles Properties, Inc., 119 N.E.3d 70 (Ind. 2019)
    Represented owner of multi-family apartment complex in resisting payment of excessive rental registration fees, where city argued state statute restricting fees violated constitutional prohibition against special legislation. Resulted in a judgment in favor of the client from the Indiana Supreme Court.
  • Conn v. Bic Graphic USA Manufacturing Co., Inc. 
    Represented employer in appeal of case involving failure to accommodate and disability discrimination under Minnesota Human Rights Act and retaliation claims under Minnesota Workers Compensation Act.
  • Pflugh v. Indianapolis Historic Preservation Comm'n, 108 N.E.3d 904 (Ind. T. App. 2018), trans denied.
    Represented developer in appeal of zoning case brought by a remonstrator.
  • Ali v. Alliance Home Care, LLC, 53 N.E.3d 420 (Ind. Ct. App. 2016)
    Represented home healthcare company in appeal of case regarding defamation and other tort claims brought by a former employee.
  • United States ex rel. Pileco, Inc. v. Slurry Systems 
    Represented foreign manufacturer on breach of contract claims.
  • 5200 Keystone Ltd. Realty, LLC v. Filmcraft Laboratories, Inc.
    Represented landowner in claims under Indiana’s Environmental Legal Action Statute. 
  • Matthews v. Chicago Transit Authority 
    Represented public transportation company on pension-related issues.
  • ISBA v. Tuzzolino
    Represented insurance company regarding a rescission issue.
  • Pusateri v. Peoples Gas Light & Coke Company 
    Represented utility company involving the validity of whistle-blower’s claim.
  • Citizens Opposing Pollution v. ExxonMobil Coal, USA 
    Represented major oil company involving an environmental cleanup issue.
  • Powell v. Dean Foods Company, et al.
    Represented plaintiff in a production liability case on substitution of judge motion.
  • Weems v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31
    Represented government official regarding an injunction barring the closing of a state prison.
  • Cynthia Simpkins v. CSX Transportation 
    Represented plaintiff in an asbestos case involving second-hand exposure.
  • Michael E. Avery, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. 
    Represented major insurance company regarding a recusal issue on the court.
  • Bowens v. Quinn 
    Represented former governor of Illinois regarding his parole and pardon powers.
  • American River Transp. Co. v. Ryan 
    Represented plaintiff in a maritime matter.
  • Illinois School Dist. Agency v. Pacific Ins. Co. Ltd. 
    Represented school district agency in coverage dispute.
  • Schmude v. Sheahan 
    Represented attorney in a sanctions matter.
  • Eychaner, et al. v. Theodore Gross, et al. 
    Represented university over the issue of donor intent in creating a trust.
  • Kipnis v. Mandel Metals, Inc.
    Represented corporation on breach of contract claim brought by former executive.

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