The National Law Journal Names McGuireWoods to Prestigious Appellate Hot List

November 6, 2018

The National Law Journal named McGuireWoods to its prestigious 2018 Appellate Hot List honoring the “stars of the appellate bar” — leading law firms that had great success before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal appeals courts over the past year.

Partner Matt Fitzgerald, co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice, discussed the firm’s powerhouse performance on appellate matters in an Oct. 26 NLJ profile. He led a McGuireWoods team that won a landmark Fourth Amendment case at the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. The court ruled in Collins v. Virginia that police officers without a warrant cannot use the Fourth Amendment’s automobile exception to enter a home’s curtilage.

Collins now guards the Fourth Amendment rights of every American who lives in a house and parks a car nearby,” Fitzgerald said in the profile. McGuireWoods handled the case with only one partner and two associates, all age 35 or younger at the outset. Fitzgerald, along with associates Travis Gunn and Brian Schmalzbach, drafted a certiorari petition that Empirical SCOTUS later labeled the best-written petition of the 2017-2018 court term.

Fitzgerald noted that McGuireWoods “has built a powerful appeals team outside the Beltway” that includes six former U.S. Supreme Court clerks, with a seventh to join the firm this fall.

Partners Brad Kutrow and John Adams co-chair the appellate practice, which also includes a former White House associate counsel, a former state solicitor general and a former national lead appellate counsel for a Fortune 100 company.

“Our appellate lawyers are vital to our clients’ success, attacking dangerous losses and defending significant wins at every level of the judiciary,” said Dion Hayes, the firm’s deputy managing partner for litigation. “They have earned this recognition as one of the nation’s elite appellate practices.”

Managing partner J. Tracy Walker IV added: “This is a tremendous honor for McGuireWoods and befitting of the dedication and exceptional skill of our appeals team.”