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Appellate

Overview

Schwabe’s appellate lawyers handle precedent-setting cases that impact industries from real estate and financial services to energy, maritime, and manufacturing and distribution.

Strong skills make your case

Our appellate lawyers stand apart for their exceptional analytical, writing and oral advocacy skills. The team includes a former justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, recognized appellate attorneys in Oregon and Washington, and former appellate court clerks.

Compelling advocacy on a broad range of issues

Our appellate lawyers are skilled at distilling complex legal issues to their essence to present winning arguments. We have handled appeals setting important precedents in cases involving tort liability, contract law, real estate law, products liability, energy law, insurance law and constitutional law. We regularly file amicus curiae briefs to represent specific clients and client industry interests in pending appeals, as well as to provide guidance to federal and state courts on important or novel issues of law. In addition, we have authored successful petitions for writs of certiorari and merits briefs before the United States Supreme Court.

Many of our lawyers regularly donate their time and skills to the community, serving as volunteer attorneys for the Ninth Circuit's Pro Bono Program, the Oregon Appellate Pro Bono Program, and other pro bono appellate representations.

Adding value at trial

As a core part of the litigation group, Schwabe’s appellate lawyers work closely with our trial teams. We add valuable perspective to trial strategies, briefing critical legal issues and identifying legal theories and arguments in anticipation of possible appeals. We also preserve trial issues for appeal and to protect victories.

Experience

Oregon State Appellate Courts

  • Briefed and argued appeal concerning constitutional challenges to Public Employees Retirement System litigation. Moro v. State, 357 Or. 167, 351 P.3d 1 (2015).
  • Won reversal of jury verdict in insurance coverage dispute to secure $12.5 million in coverage benefits (review pending). Masood v. Safeco Ins. Co., 275 Or. App. 315, 365 P.3d 540 (2015).
  • Submitted amicus curiae briefing at merits stage on behalf of industry groups. ODOT v. Alderwoods (Oregon), Inc., 358 Or. 501, 366 P.3d 316 (2015).
  • Successfully defended favorable trial decision concerning multi-million-dollar easement and contract rights. Cascade Pac. Pulp, LLC v. Georgia-Pacific Consumer Prods. LP, 259 Or. App. 348, 314 P.3d 311 (2014).
  • Submitted amicus curiae brief for industry group on questions of law certified to Oregon Supreme Court concerning Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. and Oregon Trust Deed Act. Brandrup v. ReconTrust Co., N.A., 353 Or. 668, 303 P.3d 301 (2013)
  • Defended dismissal of construction breach-of-contract action under ORS 701.131. Pincetich v. Nolan, 252 Or. App. 42, 285 P.3d 759 (2012).
  • Submitted successful amicus curiae briefing and participated at oral argument at merits stage. Hope Presbyterian Church of Rogue River v. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 352 Or. 668, 291 P.3d 711 (2012).

Washington State Appellate Courts

  • Successfully persuaded appellate court to affirm defense verdict and reject claims of juror misconduct). Long v. Brusco Tug & Barge‎, Inc., 185 Wn.2d 127 (2016).‎
  • Affirmed dismissal of malpractice claims based on ‎application of Washington's "actual innocence" requirement (review pending). Piris v. Kitching, 186 Wn. App.265, 345 P.3d 13 (2015).
  • Resolved subject matter jurisdiction defense in contract dispute involving Indian tribe. Outsource Services Management, LLC v. Nooksack Business Corp., 181 Wn.2d. 272, 333 P.3d 380 (2014).
  • Resolved Choice of Law issues in security dispute with named foreign defendants. FutureSelect Portfolio Mgmt., Inc. v. Tremont Grp. Holdings, Inc., 180 Wn.2d 954, 331 P.3d 29 (2014).
  • Affirmed summary judgment in annuity contract ‎dispute. Kelly v. Allianz, 178 Wn. App. 395, 314 P.3d 755 (2013).

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Represented investor-owned utility in appeal successfully defeating challenges to administrative decisions under Northwest Power Act. Public Power Council v. United States Dept. of Energy, 912 Fed. Appx. 571 (9th Cir. 2015).
  • Represented group of employers and employees challenging application of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes to non-immigrant alien workers in Northern Marianas Islands. American Pac. Textile, Inc. v. United States, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 22028 (9th Cir. 2015), decision reported in related appeal at Ai v. United States, 809 F.3d 503 (9th Cir. 2015).
  • Represented investor-owned utility in appeal successfully defeating challenges to Bonneville Power Administration’s final decisions on multi-billion-dollar settlement securing benefits for utility customers under Residential Exchange Program of Northwest Power Act. Ass’n of Pub. Agency Customers v. Bonneville Power Admin., 733 F.3d 939 (9th Cir. 2013).

Other Federal Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court of the United States

  • Successfully represented client at both certiorari and merits stages on enforceability of arbitration agreement giving authority to arbitrator to decide validity of agreement. Rent-A-Center, Inc. v. Jackson, 561 U.S. 63 (2010).
  • Resolved challenge to ‎government contract bid award. Digitalis Educ. Solutions, Inc. v. United States, 664 F.3d 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2012).
  • Handled appeal of application of Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes to nonimmigrant alien workers in Northern Marianas Islands. Zhang v. United States, 640 F.3d 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2011).

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