Appeals and Issues

McGuireWoods’ select team of lawyers brief and argue dozens of appeals every year in federal and state courts nationwide. Clients recognize that our appellate team is familiar with the players, tactics and battleground unique to appeals. Our clients trust us to attack dangerous losses and defend multimillion-dollar wins.

Our Team

Among its 1,000 lawyers, McGuireWoods maintains a hand-picked team of fewer than 40 attorneys with a special focus on appeals. These lawyers combine exceptional brief writing with the wisdom and voice of extensive experience. Team members include:

  • National lead appellate counsel for a Fortune 100 company
  • A former state solicitor general
  • A former associate White House counsel
  • Seven former U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • Former law clerks from numerous state and federal courts of appeal

Our Focus

Appeals usually are won by implementing a case-long strategy and providing cogent and powerful briefing. Thus, our appellate lawyers often work with trial teams to advance our clients’ positions long before the appeal begins. In writing, we pride ourselves on clarity and simplicity. Translating voluminous records or complex administrative matters into briefs that can persuade generalist judges is a key element of what we do. We aim to control the narrative − to explain not only why our clients are technically correct as a legal matter, but also why they should win.

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CONTACTS

Bradley R. Kutrow Partner T: +1 704 343 2049
Results 1-14 of 14
Representative Matter

New York Court of Appeals upholds disposal of $11 million jury verdict

In re New York city Asbestos Litigation, 48 N.Y.S.3d 365 (N.Y. 1st App. Div. 2017). McGuireWoods secured entry of judgment notwithstanding the verdict, persuading the trial court to throw out an $11 million verdict against Ford in an asbestos mesothelioma case. In a 3-1 decision, the New York Appellate Division affirmed, holding that that the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses on causation failed to meet the admissibility requirements for cases involving alleged exposure to toxic substances. This closely watched case involved the first application of New York’s heightened admissibility standards in an asbestos case.
Representative Matter

Fourth Circuit agrees not to revive wastewater suit

Neal Blankenship and Emma Gay Blankenship v. Consolidation Coal Co. and Island Creek Coal Co. and Dianna L. Graham et al. v. Consolidation Coal Co. et al. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed decisions on two matters related to the disposal of excess wastewater from an underground mine. Plaintiffs asserted excess wastewater was unlawfully diverted into mine voids beneath their land, and the  applicable statutes of limitations were tolled pursuant to CERCLA. The Fourth Circuit rejected the tolling argument based on a lack of a CERCLA violation and that plaintiffs knew or should have known of the violations.
Representative Matter

Secured Fourth Circuit win for one of the largest producers and transporters of energy in the U.S.

Virginia Elec. & Power Co. v. Bransen Energy, Inc., 850 F.3d 645 (4th Cir. 2017). The Fourth Circuit granted McGuireWoods a complete appellate victory—affirming a combined judgment amount of approximately $23 million—in a contract dispute that involved a complex set of interrelated coal supply and services agreements related Dominion's order of 600,000 tons of a specific coal product, which the seller fulfilled with different products that were unusable for Dominion's intended purpose.
Representative Matter

Secured reversal of key lower court ruling in recouping cleanup costs

Asarco, LLC v. Noranda Mining, Inc., 844 F.3d 1201 (10th Cir. 2017). McGuireWoods obtained reversal of summary judgment in a case apportioning environmental liability under CERCLA.  This major victory re-opened the door for Asarco to seek contribution in numerous other cases as well because it rejected judicial estoppel of such claims based on Asarco’s bankruptcy proceedings.
Representative Matter

Secured favorable ruling for client in public bond matter in the Supreme Court of Virginia

Cygnus Newport-Phase IB, LLC v. City of Portsmouth, 292 Va. 573, 790 S.E.2d 623 (2016).
The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled in favor of our client, affirming the validity of a special assessment lien against a challenge by property owners that would have had significant consequences for outstanding public bonds that special assessments were pledged to repay.
Representative Matter

Successful defense of Fortune 200 financial institution in breach of contract MDL

Representation of a Fortune 200 financial institution in a breach of contract multi-district litigation relating to an interest rate increase on more than 30 million of its credit card accounts. The plaintiffs alleged breach of contract, breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TLA), and more. With cases filed across the country, the matter was consolidated to the Northern District of Georgia. We prevailed on summary judgment on all claims, and the 11th Circuit affirmed on appeal.
Representative Matter

7th Circuit Finds Federal Preemption under the ICCTA

Wedemeyer v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 850 F.3d 889 (7th Cir. 2017). Secured victory on preemption under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act (ICCTA). The Seventh Circuit rejected an adjacent landowner’s attempt to use state law to take active operating railroad property. It held that ICCTA preempts state law and permits railroads to operate free from interference by state regulation.
Representative Matter

Secured precedent setting victory on North Carolina statutes of limitations

John Doe 1K and John Doe 2K v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, NC, 775 S.E.2d 918 (N.C. Ct. App. 2015). McGuireWoods obtained a significant victory for a Roman Catholic diocese. Several plaintiffs alleging sexual abuse by priests in the 1970s and 1980s filed suits against the Diocese. The lawsuits were designed to advance novel rules for tolling of statutes of limitation. In August 2015, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in its first decision addressing the application of statutes of limitations in cases alleging decades-old abuse by clergy, ruled in favor of the Diocese. The Court of Appeals declined to adopt the tolling theories urged by the plaintiffs, all of whom admitted that they had always known of the alleged abuse but had made no effort to pursue potential claims for decades.
Representative Matter

Firm Teams up with Innocence Project to Preserve Access to Habeas Corpus in Virginia

Hicks v. Director, Department of Corrections, 289 Va. 288 (2015). In a matter of first impression, the Supreme Court of Virginia held that Virginia law tolls the statute of limitations for a habeas corpus petition when the Commonwealth has withheld material exculpatory evidence from the defense (Brady material).
Representative Matter

Supreme Court of Virginia reverses and renders final judgment where plaintiffs’ liability expert lacked sufficient foundation for his opinion

Hyundai Motor Company, Ltd., et al., v. Keith Allen Duncan, Individually and as Guardian and Conservator for Zachary Gage Duncan, et al., Record No. 140216. On January 8, 2015, the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed a $14.14 million jury verdict against Hyundai and entered final judgment in favor of Hyundai.  The court held that the plaintiffs’ expert testimony, which was the sole support for plaintiffs’ liability theory, should not have been admitted by the trial court because it was merely the expert’s “ipse dixit assumption” and was without any evidentiary support or empirical analysis.
Representative Matter

Earned FCA victory on motion to dismiss

United States ex rel. Ahumada v. NISH, et al., 756 F. 3d 268 (4th Cir. 2014). The Fourth Circuit affirmed dismissal of a False Claims Act case against our client and others based on the public disclosure bar and pleading rules.
Representative Matter

Fortune 500 wireless carrier

Defense of a Fortune 500 wireless carrier in patent infringement suits brought by non-practicing entity based on twenty-six patents allegedly directed to wireless network, handset and website functionalities.
Representative Matter

Supreme Court of Virginia sets new standard for proximate causation in toxic tort cases

Ford Motor Co. v. Boomer, 285 Va. 141, 736 S.E.2d 724 (2013). The Supreme Court of Virginia agreed that the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury on the issue of causation, in a case of first impression. The appropriate causation standard for a mesothelioma case in Virginia is whether exposure to the defendant’s product alone was “sufficient to have caused the harm.” This ruling led a victory in the retrial.
Representative Matter

Fourth Circuit affirms summary judgment for McGuireWoods client in tortious interference and business conspiracy case

Shirvinski v. U.S. Coast Guard, 673 F.3d 308 (4th Cir. 2013). Appellant brought claims against our client, a government contractor, alleging that our client's employees illegally conspired with the Coast Guard to have him removed from a U.S. Coast Guard project. In a published opinion affirming summary judgment on all counts, the Fourth Circuit held that “[a]llowing this claim to proceed would only reward artful pleading to the detriment of public-private relationships.”
Results 1-14 of 14
Results 1-25 of 32
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John D Adams John D. Adams
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 804 775 4744
F: +1 804 698 2061
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T:+1 202 857 2927
F: +1 202 857 1737

Tennille J Checkovich Tennille J. Checkovich
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4758
F: +1 804 440 7770
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Katherine Crocker Katherine Mims Crocker
Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4747
F: +1 804 698 2184
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Joshua D Davey Joshua D. Davey
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2167
F: +1 704 805 5019
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R. Patrick Dover R. Patrick Dover
Associate
Bank of America Tower
50 North Laura Street
Suite 3300
Jacksonville, FL 32202-3661

T: +1 904 798 3235
F: +1 904 360 6329
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Thomas M Farrell Thomas M. Farrell
Partner
JPMorgan Chase Tower
600 Travis Street
Suite 7500
Houston, TX 77002-2906

T: +1 713 353 6677
F: +1 832 214 9933
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Matthew A Fitzgerald Matthew A. Fitzgerald
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4716
F: +1 804 698 2251
vCard
Rebecca Gantt Rebecca Gantt
Associate
World Trade Center
101 West Main Street
Suite 9000
Norfolk, VA 23510-1655

T: +1 757 640 3731
F: +1 757 640 3940
vCard
Duncan Getchell E. Duncan Getchell Jr.
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4388
F: +1 804 698 2252
vCard
Akiesha Gilcrist Akiesha R. Gilcrist
Associate
Tower Two-Sixty
260 Forbes Avenue
Suite 1800
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3142

T: +1 412 667 7938
F: +1 412 667 7942
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Nicholas Giles Nicholas J. Giles
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4760
F: +1 804 698 2040
vCard
David L Hartsell David L. Hartsell
Partner
77 West Wacker Drive
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601-1818

T: +1 312 750 8898
F: +1 312 920 6766
vCard
Ben Hatch Benjamin L. Hatch
Partner
World Trade Center
101 West Main Street
Suite 9000
Norfolk, VA 23510-1655

2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 757 640 3727
F: +1 757 640 3947
vCard
Craig R Haughton Craig R. Haughton
Associate
Promenade
1230 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Suite 2100
Atlanta, GA 30309-3534

T: +1 404 443 5612
F: +1 212 715 2318
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Patrick L Hayden Patrick L. Hayden
Partner
1345 Avenue of the Americas
7th Floor
New York, NY 10105-0106

T: +1 212 548 2163
F: +1 212 548 2171
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Robert L Hodges Robert L. Hodges
Senior Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 7513
F: +1 804 698 2082
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Lyle Kossis Lyle D. Kossis
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4703
F: +1 804 698 2041
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Bradley R Kutrow Bradley R. Kutrow
Partner
201 North Tryon Street
Suite 3000
Charlotte, NC 28202-2146

T: +1 704 343 2049
F: +1 704 343 2300
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Robert W Loftin Robert W. Loftin
Senior Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4715
F: +1 804 698 2177
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Daniel Mahfood Daniel M. Mahfood
Associate
Bank of America Tower
50 North Laura Street
Suite 3300
Jacksonville, FL 32202-3661

T: +1 904 798 2637
F: +1 904 360 6321
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Jonathan Marx Jonathan R. Marx
Associate
434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601

T: +1 919 755 6566
F: +1 919 755 6607
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Ginnie Bondurant S. Virginia Bondurant Price
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 1414
F: +1 804 698 2192
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Anand V Ramana Anand V. Ramana
Partner
2001 K Street N.W.
Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006-1040

T: +1 202 857 1734
F: +1 202 828 2973
vCard
Jontille D Ray Jontille D. Ray
Senior Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 1173
F: +1 804 698 2232
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Brian Schmalzbach Brian D. Schmalzbach
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4746
F: +1 804 698 2304
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Results 1-10 of 10
Event

SEC Compliance and Disclosure Update

March 7, 2017
Complimentary Webinar Series
Event

SEC Compliance and Disclosure Update

January 31, 2017
Complimentary Webinar Series
Event

U.S. Supreme Court Class Action Review

November 10, 2016
Complimentary Webinar
Event

U.S. Supreme Court Preview

October 19, 2016
Complimentary Webinar
Event

Fourth Circuit Year in Review

August 24, 2016
Complimentary Webinar
Event

Fourth Circuit Year in Review

June 18, 2015
Complimentary Webinar
Event

U.S. Supreme Court Review and Preview

October 2, 2014
Richmond, VA
Event

Fourth Circuit Year in Review

Thursday, May 15, 2014
Richmond, VA
Event

U.S. Supreme Court Review and Preview

September 5, 2013
Live and simulcast as webinar
Results 1-10 of 10
Results 1-20 of 46
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Legal Alert

Ninth Circuit Ruling Weakens Materiality Standard under the FCA

Subject to Inquiry
July 28, 2017
Legal Alert

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Time Limits Apply to SEC Disgorgement Orders

Subject to Inquiry
June 6, 2017
Legal Alert

Eleventh Circuit: Insurer Not Required to Reimburse Pre-Tender Defense Costs

Insurance Recovery Blog
January 12, 2017
Legal Alert

Avoiding the Minefields of Claims-Made Insurance Coverage

Insurance Recovery Blog
January 3, 2017
Results 1-20 of 46