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Appellate Advocacy 2018-09-25T16:54:00+00:00

At KBK, our attorneys are ranked among the top appellate litigators in California. We have appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state appellate courts nationwide. Most of our attorneys have served as judicial clerks in the U.S. Supreme Court or the federal appeals courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. One of our attorneys, Laura W. Brill, has been elected to the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the nation’s oldest lawyers’ organization dedicated to appellate practice. Our attorneys provide a strategic appellate perspective on trial litigation and are often engaged to provide advice about and litigate questions of constitutional law. Examples of representative matters include:

  • Obtained appellate victory for international media company, upholding multi-million dollar award against major toy manufacturer.
  • Successfully defended Current TV LLC and former Vice President Al Gore in trial court and on appeal against claims brought by a consultant seeking a multi-million dollar “finder’s fee” in connection with the sale of Current to Al Jazeera.
  • Successfully defended a media group and several of its executives, obtaining a dismissal that was affirmed on appeal, in a lawsuit filed by a former executive claiming fraud, legal malpractice, and an illegal dismissal.
  • Obtained a complete defense victory at the trial and appellate court level for Paramount Pictures Corporation in federal securities, contract, and business tort actions related to complex domestic and international film financing transactions.
  • Succeeded on appeal on behalf of the heirs of the creator of the television show, Hawaii Five-0, in proceedings involving rights dispute with creator’s former talent agent.
  • Obtained reversal of district court summary judgment ruling in long-running case concerning restitution of Nazi-looted art.
  • Represent estate of business manager in appeal regarding claim of hundreds of millions of dollars made in connection with celebrity divorce; case involves significant issue involving California’s mediation privilege.
  • Represent minority owners of major television production company in major corporate dispute involving multiple appeals and numerous appellate issues.
  • Represent estate of prominent deceased music star in connection with multiple appeals involving California’s anti-SLAPP law and the First Amendment.
  • As amicus curiae, successfully represented the League of California Cities and a major outdoor advertising company in obtaining a Ninth Circuit appellate victory holding that a city contract allowing outdoor advertising in connection with mass transit did not invalidate a ban on new off-site signs on private property. Argued the appeal against constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe.
  • On appeal, won dismissal of a lawsuit under the anti-SLAPP statute on behalf of a law firm facing defamation and trade libel claims filed by a company over statements the law firm made in a press release.
  • Represented leading cell phone service provider in an appellate matter regarding private rights of action to enforce compensation provisions of the Federal Communications Act.
  • Consult with major motion picture studios relating to copyright issues in appellate proceedings.
  • Represented civil rights and pro-democracy organizations in filing amicus briefs challenging partisan gerrymandering before the U.S. Supreme Court and Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
  • Represent County of Los Angeles on appeal in case involving constitutional challenge to State law involving redistricting.
  • Obtained summary judgment and Supreme Court affirmance for the California State Senate in a redistricting challenge.
  • Represented the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund as amicus curiae in a successful U.S. Supreme Court challenge to a Texas criminal law that punished same-sex sexual conduct.
  • Filed numerous amicus briefs on behalf of women’s rights organizations in state and federal appeals challenging restrictions on equal marriage rights.
  • Represent the speaker of the California State Assembly in filing amicus brief relating to California initiative process.
  • Argued successfully before the California Court of Appeal to uphold the dismissal of tort claims in an appeal arising from a suit alleging that defendants had sold the plaintiff’s semiconductor processing equipment that was the source of a patent infringement claim against the plaintiff by a third party.
  • Represented leading securities industry trade groups in the filing of an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit in a case concerning third-party liability for securities violations in civil litigation arising out of the Enron scandal.
  • Filed an amicus brief on behalf of the American Association of Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges in a U.S. Supreme Court case regarding injunctions in patent infringement cases.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a national law firm in a legal malpractice action in which the plaintiff alleged that its lawyers had caused the plaintiff to enter into a poor settlement of underlying litigation, which had cost the client millions of dollars.
  • Won an appellate court victory on behalf of a prominent law firm with a unanimous three-judge panel upholding a $7 million “prevailing party” fee award to the law firm in affirming the arbitrator’s rejection of the former client’s malpractice claim.
  • Won the dismissal of a $3.6 million lawsuit filed against a major law firm by a plaintiff who sued the law firm’s clients in underlying litigation. The plaintiff claimed the clients paid the firm’s legal fees with money that the plaintiff alleged belonged to it.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a law firm sued for legal malpractice, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty arising from its representation of a client in the sale of an office building.
  • Obtained a binding arbitration award in favor of a national law firm and an award of fees and costs as the prevailing party in a legal malpractice action arising from the negotiation and drafting of transaction documents for the sale of a mortgage origination business to a publicly traded investment bank.
  • Successfully represented an international law firm in three consolidated actions brought by over 600 Names at Lloyd’s. The law firm faced claims arising out of billions in losses the plaintiffs suffered when their Lloyd’s Syndicates were forced to pay large asbestosis claims. Summary judgment obtained as to approximately 400 of the plaintiffs. Also obtained summary adjudication on all claims which posited an intended beneficiary theory of liability and had motions for summary judgment of the remaining claims pending when the cases settled on very favorable terms.
  • On appeal, won dismissal of a lawsuit under the anti-SLAPP statute on behalf of a law firm facing defamation and trade libel claims filed by a company over statements the law firm made in a press release.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a national law firm in a lawsuit filed by a national franchisor for legal malpractice arising from the law firm’s representation of the franchisor in litigation against franchisees.
  • Successfully defended a regional law firm and its partners against malpractice claims arising from the sale of real estate owned by an LLC. The plaintiffs sought over $25 million in damages. Obtained summary judgment and an award of attorney fees and costs, which were affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an international law firm in a legal malpractice action filed by real estate developers arising out of a failed development agreement with the City of Los Angeles involving over $400 million in alleged damages. Summary judgment was affirmed on appeal.
  • Successfully represented an international law firm in a legal malpractice action arising from the firm’s representation of a real estate developer in underlying complex land use proceedings over the proposed development of a large tract of land in Los Angeles County. The plaintiff originally sought $120 million in damages. Obtained summary judgment in favor of the law firm.
  • Obtained a defense victory for a regional law firm in an action regarding legal malpractice brought by over 20 investors in a wind energy partnership. Obtained summary judgment and an award of attorneys’ fees for the client.
  • Successfully represented a national law firm sued for malicious prosecution arising from complicated underlying litigation of copyright and trademark infringement claims which were decided against the firm’s client. Prevailed on an anti-SLAPP motion with an award of $315,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs as the prevailing party. At the time, this was the single largest anti-SLAPP fee award in California history among all reported decisions.
  • Successfully represented a national law firm sued for malicious prosecution arising from the dismissal of an action brought by the firm’s client for breach of contract, trade libel, and intentional and negligent interference with economic advantage.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an international law firm sued for legal malpractice arising from the firm’s representation of its client in the sale of a downtown office building.
  • Argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the Winter v. NRDC case, in which the Navy appealed a lower court’s ruling in favor of the NRDC that had limited the Navy’s use of underwater sonar during training drills because of its harmful effect on whales and other marine mammals.
  • Represent neighborhood associations and hotel industry group in amicus brief addressing zoning issues and opposing Airbnb’s claim of immunity under Communications Decency Act.
  • Represented property owner in appeal involving California Coastal Act and local land use regulations and approvals.
  • Represented Greenpeace USA in a Ninth Circuit appeal of injunction against protest activity relating to Arctic drilling.
  • Successfully represented outdoor advertising company in obtaining affirmance on appeal of order denying injunction seeking demolition of property and demand for millions of dollars in attorney’s fees.