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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.

Experience Highlights

  • (U.S.) – Briefed and argued case involving the copyrightability of annotations to a state’s official code

  • (U.S.) — Briefed and argued a case in the Supreme Court of the United States involving federal sentencing enhancement

  • (U.S.) — Drafted briefs successfully arguing that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act does not toll the statute of limitations in civil False Claims Act cases; persuaded the Supreme Court to grant review on the issue despite the absence of a circuit split and after the United States, in a Court-invited amicus brief, argued that certiorari should be denied

  • (11th Cir.) — Secured affirmance of summary judgment in favor of airline client in putative antitrust class action alleging price-fixing of checked baggage fees 

  • (10th Cir.) — Obtained affirmance of $60 million (net) jury verdict on behalf of Antero Resources Corporation in a pricing dispute related to a long-term gas purchase agreement

  • (1st Cir.); (D.Mass.) – Secured and successfully defended on appeal district court order holding that Natural Gas Act preempted the application of a municipal ordinance to a federally approved natural gas pipeline compressor station

  • (D.C. Cir.) — Won vacatur of substantial portion of EPA’s rulemaking related to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, granting significant relief to mining and metals industry

  • (D.C. Cir.) – Successfully defended the EPA’s decision not to promulgate financial-responsibility regulations for the hardrock mining industry under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

  • (2d Cir.) — Won reversal of $35 million antitrust judgment, successfully arguing that client’s alleged tortious conduct in connection with settlement of patent infringement litigation had not harmed competition

  • (5th Cir.); (E.D. Tex.) – Obtained affirmance of dismissal of RICO, conspiracy, tortious interference, and defamation claims against local newspaper and its employees and owner

  • (5th Cir.) – Won vacatur of a preliminary injunction issued under the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act that prevented operation of Lydia Ann Channel Moorings LLC’s barge facility

  • (D.C. Cir.) – Briefed and argued appeal successfully defending FERC approval of $1 billion interstate natural gas pipeline project; case involves claims by elected state officials and affected residents that FERC failed to consider safety risks for residential neighborhoods, and wrongly rejected alternatives to the project

  • (8th Cir.) – In civil asset forfeiture appeal, successfully petitioned for rehearing en banc, prepared supplemental merits briefs, and persuaded en banc Eighth Circuit to overrule contrary Eighth Circuit precedent and reverse adverse district court decision

  • (D.C. Cir.) — Twice secured mandamus relief against district court orders compelling disclosure of government contractor’s privileged internal-investigation documents

  • (3d Cir.) – Briefed and argued appeal successfully obtaining partial reversal of district court opinion dismissing as unripe constitutional challenges to Delaware’s unclaimed property laws 

  • (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

  • (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.) — Obtained ruling that Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is entitled to recover its multimillion dollar defense costs, from Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, arising out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident

  • (Tex.) – Obtained reversal of lower appeals court decision against The Dallas Morning News in a defamation case arising out of a series of investigative articles on alleged healthcare fraud