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Appellate Practice

OUR SERVICES

 When Cases Go on Appeal, We Have the Experience You Need 

A win or loss at trial, or in the middle of litigation, is not always the end of the case—it is the beginning of a series of appeals. That is why you need attorneys who take into account possible appeals as they build your case and prepare it for trial. Otherwise, you could be left unprepared when your case moves to the next level.

 

Our attorneys have over sixty-five years of combined experience preparing, briefing, and arguing appeals in the Utah Court of Appeals, the Utah Supreme Court, the appellate courts of various states, and various federal circuit courts. With a history of prevailing at trial and on appeal, we can take your case from beginning to end, regardless of where that end may be.

Appellate Success

The following is a sample of notable appellate decisions in which we prevailed:

Vanlaningham v. Ryan Hart & Hart Dental, LLC, 2021 UT App 95, 498 P.3d 27.

The Plaintiff filed suit alleging injury from dental care. After the close of discovery, our clients moved to exclude Plaintiff’s economic damage evidence at trial for failure to provide a damages computation. The district court granted Defendants’ motion, and the Utah Court of Appeals granted Plaintiff’s petition for interlocutory review of that decision. On appeal, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision, agreeing that Plaintiff failed to provide a computation of her alleged damages.

 

AKB Props. LLC v. Rubberball Prod. LLC, et al., 2021 UT App 48, 487 P.3d 465, cert. denied, 496 P.3d 713 (reversing summary judgment on contract claims).

 

Derma Pen, LLC v. 4EverYoung Ltd., 999 F.3d 1240 (10th Cir. 2021). 

Plaintiffs brought contempt proceedings against our clients, alleging that they acted in violation of an injunction entered in prior trademark litigation. We defended the contempt proceeding and prevailed and then moved for an award of attorney fees. The district court granted the motion for attorney fees after concluding that the litigation was “exceptional.” Plaintiffs appealed. The Tenth Circuit affirmed the finding that there was no contempt and the award of fees, holding, as a matter of first impression, that the Octane standard applies to fee-shifting disputes under the Lanham Act.

 

Truman v. Orem City, et al., 1 F.4th 1227 (10th Cir. 2021).

Arrestee brought civil rights (Section 1983) action against city, police department, and officers alleging fabrication of evidence used against him in a murder prosecution. Representing the city, police department, and officers, we moved for summary judgment, which the United States District Court for the District of Utah granted. The arrestee appealed and, after briefing and argument, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of our clients.

 

Cougar Canyon Loan, LLC v. Cypress Fund, LLC, 2020 UT 28, 466 P.3d 171.

The Utah Supreme Court affirmed that the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure allow and public policy does not prohibit a judgment creditor from foreclosing upon the judgment debtor’s malpractice claims against the debtor’s trial counsel. 

 

Zendler v. Univ. of Utah Health Care, 2020 UT App 143, 476 P.3d 1009, cert denied, 481 P.3d 1009 (Feb. 3, 2021) (No. 20200862).

Plaintiff received a right knee replacement and brought negligence claims against his health care providers. At the end of discovery, the district court entered summary judgment in favor of Defendants, finding Plaintiff could not prevail on causation and dismissing Plaintiff’s informed consent claim. The Utah Court of Appeals held that Plaintiffs failed to establish causation and the district court did not err in dismissing Plaintiffs’ informed consent claim because Utah’s informed consent statute does not require health care providers to inform each patient of his or her specific increased risks. The Utah Supreme Court declined to review the decision.

 

Cougar Canyon Loan, LLC v. The Cypress Fund, LLC, et al., 2019 UT App 47, 440 P.3d 884, cert. denied, 455 P.3d 1058 (affirming $4.4 million judgment in securities matter).

 

MCG S. LLC v. Veracity Networks LLC, 2018 UT App 33, 415 P.3d 1174.

After the district court granted summary judgment on fiduciary duty and contract claims and awarded damages and fees to the opposing party, Veracity hired us to appeal. On appeal, the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment and vacated the district court’s subsequent decisions, including the award of fees.

 

The Armer Tex. Tr., et al. v. Brazell, et al., 2017 UT App 35, 397 P.3d 604 (affirming denial of leave to amend and dismissal of securities fraud and related claims).

 

Energy Claims Ltd. v. Catalyst Inv. Grp. Ltd., 2014 UT 13, 325 P.3d 70 (reversing and remanding the district court’s order of dismissal for forum non conveniens).

 

Legacy Res., Inc. v. Liberty Pioneer Energy Source, Inc., 2013 UT 76, 322 P.3d 683.

After a decision dismissing the client’s breach of contract and trade secret claims on summary judgment, the Utah Supreme Court reversed and held that the client’s contract claims, and by extension its trade secret claim, should have survived summary judgment.

 

Mehio v. Smart Dental Care, LC, 2012 UT App 335, 291 P.3d 845 (prevailing on a motion for summary disposition, holding that the issues raised for review were so insubstantial as not to merit further proceedings and consideration by the court).

 

Gunn Hill Dairy Props., LLC, v. L.A. Dep’t of Water & Power, 2012 UT App 20, 269 P.3d 980.

Dairy farmers brought action against a power plant operator for $400 million alleging that stray direct current electricity from the plant was adversely affecting the health and productivity of their dairy herds. The district court granted in part a motion to preclude the farmers’ expert from testifying. The farmers petitioned for interlocutory appeal, the petition was granted, and the ruling excluding the Farmer’s expert was reversed. 

 

Tomlinson v. Rudd, 2011 UT App 243, 258 P.3d 674 (prevailing on summary disposition due to a lack of jurisdiction on appeal).

 

Chilton v. Young, 2009 UT App 265, 220 P.3d 171.

Successfully defended against misrepresentation, fraud, and legal malpractice claims at the summary judgment stage, and the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the granting of our motion for summary judgment.

 

Mosier v. Callister, Nebeker & McCullough, 546 F.3d 1271 (10th Cir. 2008).

A Chapter 11 Trustee brought a $20 million lawsuit against our clients, a law firm and attorneys who represented a debtor-nonprofit corporation, asserting claims for professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, vicarious liability, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, and civil conspiracy. After we secured summary judgment in our clients’ favor, the plaintiff appealed and the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision.

 

Russo v. Ballard Med. Prods., 550 F.3d 1004 (10th Cir. 2008).

The jury awarded $20,000,000 in damages for misappropriation of trade secrets and breaches of a confidentiality agreement. The Tenth Circuit affirmed the award.

 

Bilanzich v. Lonetti, 2007 UT 26, 160 P.3d 1041.

Successfully overturned the district court’s denial of attorney fees and costs on the basis that Utah Code Section 78-27-56.5 grants the district court discretion to award attorney fees and costs to a prevailing party if the writing that forms the basis of the lawsuit provides attorney fees for at least one party.

 

Lange v. Eby, 2006 UT App 118, 133 P.3d 451.

After prevailing on trial in a negligence and trespass action and defeating a motion to reconsider, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decisions in our client’s favor.

 

Carter v. Univ. of Utah Med. Ctr., 2006 UT 78, 150 P.3d 467.

Reversing the district court’s denial of a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the Governmental Immunity Act’s venue provision, not the statute governing venue in “all other actions,” applied. 

 

Save Our Canyons v. Bd. of Adjustments of Salt Lake Cty., 2005 UT App 285, 116 P.3d 978.

After succeeding on a motion for summary judgment, Save Our Canyons appealed, claiming the trial court erred by affirming a decision granting three variances from the Salt Lake County Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone ordinances (FCOZ) for an access road to Wasatch’s property (the Property) located north of the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision granting our client’s motion for summary judgment.

 

Jedrziewski v. Smith, 2005 UT 85, 128 P.3d 1146.

    Our clients brough civil conspiracy, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and trespass to real property claims against the attackers who moved for judgment on the pleadings. The district court denied the motion and the Utah Supreme Court affirmed. 

 

Utah Med. Prods., Inc. v. Graphic Controls Corp., 350 F.3d 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2003).

The jury awarded $20,000,000 for patent infringement, and the Federal Circuit upheld the award, finding that the patent was valid, had been infringed, and damages should be awarded.

 

Newman v. Sonnenberg, 2003 UT App 401, 81 P.3d 808.

After the Defendant dentist prevailed on summary judgment, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, finding: “Expert testimony is needed to prove each element of abandonment, including when treatment begins, except in circumstances when the matter at issue falls within the common knowledge of jurors.” Id. ¶ 17.

 

Reisbeck v. HCA Health Servs. of Utah, Inc., 2000 UT 48, 2 P.3d 447 (affirming win at summary judgment stage).

 

Hill v. Dickerson, 839 P.2d 309 (Utah Ct. App. 1992).

Successfully moved for dismissal with prejudice due to plaintiff’s dilatory conduct and the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, stating: “To allow one party to have continuance after continuance to the prejudice of the other party would be patently unfair. This is especially true when such continuances are being granted for the plaintiff who triggers the time constraints of litigation by bringing the suit in the first place.” Id. at 312.

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