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Appellate Hero

Appellate

In state and federal courts across the United States, Vinson & Elkins' Appellate lawyers have an enviable track record of success representing appellants and appellees, plaintiffs and defendants, amici, and intervenors in high-stakes litigation. Our lawyers appear everywhere our clients need us to be. The Appellate team includes former clerks for the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Texas, as well as various federal district courts and state courts of appeals.

A Full-Service Practice

Partnering with trial lawyers, our Appellate lawyers handle direct appeals of trial court and intermediate appellate judgments, and appeals of administrative actions. We bring broad experience to such critical activities as petitioning for writs of mandamus or other emergency relief from trial court action, preserving error at trial, preparing and objecting to jury charges, and preparing and presenting post-verdict motions. Our Appellate lawyers also provide legal and strategic counseling to clients on a range of constitutional, statutory, and regulatory issues outside the context of, or in anticipation of, litigation.

National Presence in Appellate Law

V&E has extensive appellate experience in the Supreme Court of the United States and United States Courts of Appeals. Our practice is particularly strong before the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits. We also have deep experience in the Supreme Court of Texas, the intermediate Texas appellate courts, and trial courts throughout the state. Our national presence extends to other state appellate courts, including significant representations in the Supreme Court of Louisiana and the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, as well as state and federal trial courts throughout the country.

Additional Information

Practice Highlights

  • (U.S.) — Successfully argued that conflict of interest rules governing state officials do not infringe First Amendment speech rights; Justice Scalia authored the opinion gaining a vote of 9-0 issued in our client’s favor
  • (Fed. Cir.) – Won vacatur of Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals’ decision rejecting government contractor’s claims of breach of implied duty of good faith and fair dealing and constructive change
  • (D.C. Cir.) — Successfully argued that environmental group and municipality lacked standing to challenge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certification of a natural gas pipeline 
  • (4th Cir.) – Won vacatur of district court’s decision rejecting pro bono client’s post-conviction claim of ineffective assistance of counsel and remand for hearing on merits of claim
  • (Tex. App. – Amarillo) — Successfully argued appeal and obtained unanimous reversal and rendition of judgment in favor of our banking clients; the Court of Appeals held that our clients’ actions complied with the bank’s articles of incorporation
  • (9th Cir.) — Obtained affirmance of the district court’s judgment dismissing RICO claims brought by a county government which sought, as damages, its alleged increased cost for providing government services purportedly caused by the presence in the county of illegal aliens; due to the case’s significance, the oral argument was aired on C-SPAN
  • (5th Cir.) — Successfully argued that the federal government does not “provide” statutorily mandated telecom-company universal-service contributions within the meaning of the False Claims Act, winning reversal of district court’s denial of motion to dismiss
  • (D.C. Cir.) – Successfully defended award of summary judgment to government contractor in False Claims Act suit 
  • (3d Cir.) – Successfully argued for the dismissal of Clean Air Act enforcement action brought by EPA and several states seeking to require the former owners of a coal-fired power plant to pay for the installation of billion-dollar pollution controls; the court denied EPA and states’ petitions for rehearing en banc
  • (5th Cir.) — On behalf of Plains Marketing, obtained affirmance of the district court’s judgment dismissing a lawsuit brought by a foreign entity against two Plains Marketing entities on grounds that there was no complete diversity of citizenship; the decision is an important one, as it is the first time the Fifth Circuit articulated the test for determining the citizenship of an entity created under foreign law
  • (D.C. Cir.) —  Successfully argued that internal investigation documents generated under a corporate compliance program were protected by attorney-client privilege, winning mandamus of district court decision ordering disclosure; when district court on remand found waiver of attorney-client privilege and again ordered disclosure, successfully argued that corporation did not waive privilege because witness reviewed documents before deposition or through references in pleadings, winning second mandamus