Appellate Litigation

Great trial lawyers and great appellate litigators are not always one and the same. When a party appeals a jury’s verdict or a judge’s ruling, the appellate litigation skills required to prevail are quite different than those required during trial. Barton Gilman’s appellate litigation team has what it takes to be successful in appellate cases: excellent legal writing, keen attention to detail and the ability to present complex legal issues before appellate court judges.

Barton Gilman’s appellate litigators are strong advocates for our clients throughout courts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Just as we have an enviable track record of success at trial, our appellate litigation practice has achieved a number of noteworthy achievements on behalf of our clients.

Some of our recent representative appellate cases include:

  • Persuading the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to dismiss a negligence lawsuit against an organ bank based on good faith immunity under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act. The Court’s opinion established new law on applying the good faith immunity standard.
  • Persuading the Rhode Island Supreme Court to order a local school district to reimburse the firm’s client, a local independent public charter school, for tuition payments the district had wrongfully withheld under a mistaken interpretation of state law.
  • Persuading a panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court that a “designated premises” clause in a commercial general liability insurance policy limiting coverage to bodily injuries related to operations at a specific place of business precluded coverage for an accident that occurred miles away from the policyholder’s restaurant.
  • Persuading the Massachusetts Appeals Court to affirm summary judgment in favor of the firm’s commercial landlord client against the personal injury claim of an employee of the business that leased the property. The court adopted the firm’s argument that its client had no contractual duty under the commercial lease to repair the premises.
  • Persuading the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in favor of our insurance carrier client who insured a general contractor on a major construction project. The decision, frequently cited in courts and in legal treatises, examined the “additional insured” endorsement common in construction project liability insurance policies.
  • Obtaining a first impression ruling from the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirming an order by the Rhode Island Superior Court that a Massachusetts physician sued in Rhode Island should have a Massachusetts law apply to the claims against him, including his right to a medical malpractice tribunal. On remand, the case was stayed while arrangements for conducting the tribunal were made. The claims against our client were voluntarily dismissed without payment of any settlement.
  • Persuading the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a declaratory judgment obtained from the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts in favor of our client. The lower court held that our client, an excess insurer, had no obligation to reimburse a professional liability insurer for a pro rata share of $5 million in defense costs.
  • Convincing the Massachusetts Appeals Court to uphold a defense judgment in favor of our client, and overturn a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a wrongful death case.
  • Persuading a panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court to uphold an arbitrator’s ruling that the firm’s commercial tenant client was entitled on the basis of equitable subrogation to a $450,000 setoff for its payment of a commercial mortgage pre-payment penalty.
  • Persuading a panel of the Massachusetts Appeals Court to affirm summary judgment on behalf of an employer rejecting a retaliatory discharge claim under the workers’ compensation statute.