More About This Practice

The attorneys in Balch & Bingham's Appellate Practice Group have argued and won in numerous federal and state post-judgment proceedings and appeals involving punitive damages, class actions, challenges to agency actions, and constitutional issues. The Appellate Practice Group’s attorneys offer decades of experience in briefing, arguing, and winning appeals. From unwinding default judgments to filing amicus briefs to providing confidential assessments of cases to arguing appeals on the merits. Balch's Appellate Practice Group offers a broad array of appellate services. Representative clients and briefs from a sample of our cases are provided below.

ATTORNEYS

Balch attorneys bring a wealth of experience and talent to the appellate practice area. These attributes have led to Balch's selection by Exxon Mobil Corporation to serve on the team of attorneys defending that company against the largest punitive damages verdict in the history of Alabama. The Supreme Court of Alabama also requested Balch to advise the Court as amicus on the constitutionality of an industrial development bond issue. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit regularly appoints members of Balch's Appellate Practice Group to brief and argue criminal appeals. Numerous corporations, state agencies, and individuals have selected the firm to defend them in appeals in state and federal courts.

 

SERVICES

Balch's Appellate Practice Group provides a full range of services, including:

  • Briefing and Arguing Appeals. Our lawyers have extensive expertise in briefing and arguing appeals before federal and state courts in virtually every major area of civil defense law. This experience provides invaluable insights and innovative strategies for winning cases on appeal.
  • General Advice on Appellate Matters. In cases where other firms serve as lead counsel, our lawyers provide advice concerning the unique procedural rules and tactical issues involved in appellate matters, assist in protecting and preserving the record at trial, assist clients in understanding the special institutional concerns of appellate courts, and provide advice concerning the best way to craft appellate arguments.
  • Post-Judgment Motions. Our lawyers have vast experience in filing, briefing, and arguing post-judgment motions. These motions are often crucial in overturning a bad result and preserving arguments for appeal.
  • Amicus Briefs. Our attorneys have extensive experience in drafting amicus briefs in support of merits briefs and petitions for rehearing. We have represented the Business Council of Alabama, the Alabama Bankers Association, and other groups interested in supporting a defendant on appeal. On numerous occasions these briefs formed the core of a court’s decision.
  • Unwinding Default Judgments. We have substantial experience in setting aside default judgments both at the trial court level and on appeal. Filing motions under Rule 55 or Rule 60 and filing independent actions can be critical steps to overcoming an initial default.
  • Moot Courts. Our lawyers have extensive experience in federal and state appellate courts that gives them unique insights into the backgrounds, judicial philosophies, and types of questions asked by the judges on these courts at oral argument. We regularly conduct moot oral arguments for our own lawyers to prepare them to appear before appellate courts and can provide this service and participate in other moot courts for counsel who will argue a case. Our new offices include a fully functional moot courtroom in which counsel can improve their arguments before facing a hot bench.
  • Petitions/Applications for Rehearing. Our lawyers have extensive experience drafting petitions and applications for rehearing in federal and state appellate courts. A fresh look at a case can be critical on these time-sensitive matters.
  • Appellate Motions Practice. Our substantial experience in federal and state appellate courts has included arguing for and against a broad array of appellate motions: from motions to amend a petition for review of agency orders to motions to strike evidence outside the record to opposition to motions to expedite appeals. We have many such motions in our files that can serve as persuasive authority when little, if any, published authority on such matters exists.
  • Emergency Matters. Our lawyers are often called upon for emergency legal proceedings in both trial and appellate courts, such as temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, mandamus petitions, and stays pending appeal or certiorari. Our lawyers’ skills in analyzing and arguing legal issues are invaluable in these time-sensitive situations.
  • Agency Appeals. Our lawyers have substantial experience with petitions for review, and appeals from, agency actions. For example, our lawyers regularly provide assistance in proceedings involving the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and state agencies.
  • Preserving Error at Trial.  Our lawyers are very familiar with the objections, proffers of evidence, motions, and methods of making arguments at trial necessary to preserve arguments for appeal.  By using an additional attorney to focus on preserving error for appeal, a client can allow the trial team can focus on what they do best while protecting the record in case the trial court imposes a bad result.
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