Stillman & Friedman features some of New York City’s best appellate advocates. Several of our attorneys have held prestigious clerkships with federal appellate judges. As a result, we are regularly retained to handle important civil and criminal appeals in the federal and state courts, and our results have been impressive.A Compelling Appellate Advocacy Approach.
We approach an appeal not only with mastery of the record and the law, but also with creativity in crafting arguments that pinpoint winning issues. We always tailor arguments to the particular court that is hearing the appeal. Our attorneys are particularly adept at persuading appellate courts to exercise their discretionary review powers to accept a case, often the threshold issue for pursuing an appeal. Frequently as part of our appellate practice, our attorneys counsel clients on the often-critical question of whether to take an appeal and, at the trial level, provide important strategic advice regarding the identification and preservation of potential appellate issues. Important Achievements for Clients.
We are often called upon to handle particularly hard appeals, and we have a noteworthy success record. For example, recently we have prevailed on several important criminal cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit — the reversal of our client’s conviction (and an eight-year prison sentence) for using the Internet unlawfully; the reversal of our client’s conviction for violating the federal Violence in Aid of Racketeering statute; the reversal of a contempt sanction imposing incarceration on our client who had invoked his right against self-incrimination; and the reversal (upon a rare rehearing on appeal) of our client’s sentence in an insurance fraud case. Winning an appeal in a criminal case is never an easy task, and these results highlight our appellate advocacy expertise. In addition, we regularly are counsel on appeals before the New York Court of Appeals, the State’s highest tribunal. In 2009 alone, the Court of Appeals heard four of our cases. Among our notable past Court of Appeals cases, we successfully represented New York’s Governor in litigation against the State Assembly involving the scope of the Governor’s constitutional powers in the State’s budgeting process. In another case before the Court of Appeals, we won dismissal of tax-related false filing charges against our clients, resulting in an important precedent limiting the prosecutor’s jurisdiction to pursue these kind of charges. We also frequently handle cases in the intermediate state appellate courts. Recently on appeals in those courts, we obtained the reversal of an order dismissing our client’s claim against a major bank for its supposed role in a serious fraud (which then led to a favorable settlement for our client); the affirmance of a civil judgment dismissing substantial fraud claims against our client, the former CEO of a major public company, involving the purchase of a related business; and the reversal of a client’s convictions on 17 felony counts of falsifying business records — to name just a few of our successes. Appellate Counsel of Choice.
In a variety of contexts, clients with particularly difficult issues turn to us to handle their appeals. The depth of the firm’s experience, expertise and record of accomplishment establishes us as one of New York’s preeminent appellate law firms.