Honigman’s Appellate Advocacy Practice Group is a component of Michigan’s leading Litigation Department, ranked number one in the state by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Our team of appellate attorneys is skilled in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of trial court results, analyzing complex appellate questions and presenting reasoned answers to judges simply and persuasively.
Effective appellate advocacy requires a special set of skills. Outstanding appellate advocates can identify the strengths and weaknesses of a trial court result. They understand how appellate judges view their role in reviewing a case. They are comfortable navigating the types of complex jurisprudential questions that often arise in the appellate context. They are experienced with the nuances of engaging in oral argument before multi-judge panels. And, they can write briefs that are clear, straightforward, engaging and persuasive.
Appellate advocacy is where cases are finally won or lost. At this critical stage, you do not want to leave your case in the hands of a lawyer who does not have the necessary experience and knowledge. Honigman’s Appellate Advocacy Practice Group consists of accomplished appellate advocates who have helped clients navigate complex matters in courts across the country. We have advocated before every level of state and federal appellate court. Our group includes dozens of former law clerks, as well as attorneys who have taught appellate advocacy through continuing legal education programs and in one of the nation’s leading law schools.
The group includes attorneys listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA.
Our Appellate Advocacy Practice Group leverages the substantive legal knowledge, technical acumen and extensive in-court experience of these accomplished attorneys to meet the business needs and legal objectives of its clients. We do so in a variety of ways.
- Appeals from the trial courts - In appeals from trial court decisions, we seek first to understand the client’s goals for our representation and their purpose in pursuing or defending an appeal. Then we work hard to advance those goals by developing an overall appellate strategy, by drafting powerful and persuasive briefs, and by crafting a thoughtful and creative oral argument. Our “deep bench” in the appellate field allows us to draw on counsel with a wide array of experiences with individual judges, with technical appellate problems and with complex procedural issues.
- Appeals from trial court matters handled by other firms - Attorneys in our Practice Group are often retained to handle appeals in cases originally litigated by other law firms in the trial courts. Our advocates can often make a more objective review of the trial record and assessment of the appellate posture of the case. Cases — particularly complex cases with long histories in the lower court — often benefit greatly from a fresh look by our highly experienced appellate advocates.
- Issues pending in the trial courts - Our appellate attorneys also consult on cases that are still pending in the trial courts. In certain matters, it is critical that an issue, or an entire case, be properly framed to ensure success in defending or pursuing subsequent appeals. In such matters, our attorneys work seamlessly with existing trial counsel to develop a strategy that preserves beneficial appellate arguments, while strategically narrowing the available arguments of opponents.
- Consultation with other firms on issues and appeals - Our Appellate Practice Group also consults on matters where other firms serve as lead counsel. Our attorneys draw on their extensive experience with the region’s courts and judges to provide insight regarding procedural rules and tactical considerations. In matters pending in courts outside of the region, particularly matters arising out of nationwide class-actions and multi-district litigation, our attorneys are often called upon to provide arguments and advice on issues that involve the substantive law of the region.
No matter the scope of the engagement, the Appellate Advocacy Practice Group focuses upon procurement of a successful business result efficiently and effectively. Members of the Practice Group have appeared in hundreds of cases in the federal and state appellate courts, obtaining successful results in a large percentage of those matters.
News & Resources
- Leonard M. Niehoff is mentioned in the Michigan Law article “Prof. Niehoff Leads First Amendment Scholars in Brief in Case of American Sniper Chris Kyle and Jesse Ventura”(April 14, 2015)
- Richard J. Zecchino featured in Ingham County Legal News article "Trial Run: Litigator gives MSU students taste of courtroom challenges"(September 17, 2012)Also featured in Detroit Legal News, Oakland County Legal News, Flint-Genesee County Legal News, Macomb County Legal News, Grand Rapids Legal News and Washtenaw County Legal News
- 27 Honigman practice areas and 107 attorneys recognized(August 17, 2016)
- Honigman ranked nationally by U.S. News - Best Lawyers® 2013 “Best Law Firms”(November 12, 2012)
- 100 Honigman attorneys named in Best Lawyers® in America for 2013(September 20, 2012)
- Honigman ranked nationally in 2011 U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers®(November 16, 2011)
- Honigman attorneys named in Best Lawyers® in America for 2012(November 7, 2011)
- Honigman leads Michigan law firms with most Super Lawyers and "Rising Stars"(September 20, 2011)
- Seventy-seven Honigman attorneys named Best Lawyers(August 23, 2010)
- For Lawyers New to Higher Education: An Introduction to the Major Ethical Issues, Annual Conference, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), Chicago, ILJune 2012
- Social Media: Faculty and Student Rights and Responsibilities, Annual Conference, NACUA, San Francisco, CAJune 2011
- Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money: The Second Amendment on Campus, Annual Conference, NACUA, San Francisco, CAJune 2011
- The Ethical Dangers of Social Networking for Attorneys, Media & the Law 23rd Annual Seminar, Kansas City, MOApril 2010
- Navigating the Ethical Labyrinth, Workshop, National Association of College and University Attorneys, San Diego, CAMarch 2010
- Appellate Advocacy, Address to all first-year law students, Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, MIMarch 2009
- Peculiar Marketplace: Applying Garcetti v. Ceballos, Annual Meeting, The Michigan Chapters of the American Association of University Professors2009
- Bush v. Gore and Other Frolics and Detours in Supreme Court History, Osher Distinguished Lecture2009
- Dangerous Experiments: Civil Liberties after 9/11, Osher Distinguished LectureSeptember 2008
- Covering the New Secrecy, Annual Public Policy Conference, Knight-Wallace FellowsJanuary 2007
- Can You Print That? The Print Media, Minorities, and the Public Good, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MISeptember 2006
- Federal Circuit Appeals: Selectivity Remains the Name of the Game(Fall 2012)ABA's Appellate Practice Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1
- Proposed Changes in the Ethics Rules: A Few High-Tech Highlights(June 2012)MediaLawLetter, Media Law Resource Center, Inc.
- Recent Significant Sixth Circuit Opinions Concerning Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation(October 1, 2011)Michigan Business Law Journal, Vol. 31, Issue 3
- Soft-Core Perjury(2010)36 Litigation 8
- When the Supreme Court Came to Michigan(2010)The Court Legacy
- Of Tweets and Trials(2010)The Communications Lawyer
- Rationing the Infinite(2008)107 University of Michigan Law Review 1019
- Peculiar Marketplace: Applying Garcetti v. Ceballos in the Higher Education Context(2008)35 Journal of College and University Law 75
- In the Shadow of the Shrine: Regulation and Aspiration in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct(2008)54 Wayne Law Review 3
- The Lessons of Legal Ethics(May 12, 2006)The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Here Comes the Pro Se Plaintiff(2006)32 Litigation 12
- What We Believe: Geoffrey Stone’s Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime and the Assault on Individual Conscience(2005)36 Rutgers Law Journal 889
- Rights and Liabilities of Publishers, Broadcasters, and Reporters(2002)
- Judicial Notice: The Deus Ex Machina of Evidence(2000)27 Litigation 31
- Picking A Winner(January 1, 1997)23 Litigation 25 (1997)
- How Not to Lose(Spring 1996)22 Litigation 27
- The Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Doctrine in Michigan(1992, 1998, 2003)