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Appellate and Constitutional Litigation

Our Appellate and Constitutional Litigation practice carries on the tradition of our late partner, former United States District Judge Marvin E. Frankel, one of the leading appellate advocates of the 20th century. In recent years we have argued well over 50 cases in federal and state appellate courts. More than 20 of our lawyers have clerked for federal and appellate state court judges.

Our appellate work involves all areas of corporate securities and commercial practice, as well as antitrust, bankruptcy, copyright, criminal, labor, pension and trademark issues. For example, on behalf of United Rentals, Inc., we obtained the dismissal by a district court of shareholder class action litigation arising from the termination of an LBO transaction, and the affirmance of that dismissal in the Second Circuit. In addition, we represented a major international investment bank in the leading Second Circuit case dealing with the reach of bar orders and contribution claims in securities settlements. On behalf of Liz Claiborne Inc., we gained the affirmance of the dismissal of a securities class action alleging that the company had issued misleading projections. On two separate occasions, we obtained notable victories in the Second Circuit for prominent law firms who had been sued as a result of their representation of clients in SEC investigations. We successfully defended on appeal the dismissal of market manipulation securities fraud claims against The Citgo Group Limited.

We have an extensive track record of appellate success in connection with our nationally prominent bankruptcy and restructuring practice. We successfully defended on appeal to the Sixth Circuit a multi-billion dollar settlement achieved for tort claimants in the Dow Corning bankruptcy. We obtained reversal in the Seventh Circuit of a valuation of an airport terminal lease, more than doubling the recovery of United Airlines bondholders. In the Third Circuit, we obtained the first dismissal ever of a major corporate bankruptcy as a bad faith filing, and we helped obtain a precedent-setting ruling establishing the standards for substantive consolidation of affiliated debtors.

We have also litigated a number of major copyright, trademark and false advertising appellate cases. We represented Mills Music, Inc. in a case of first impression before the Supreme Court involving the interpretation of the Copyright Act of 1976. We have litigated a number of prominent appeals interpreting the Lanham Act, including L&F Products v. Procter & Gamble, and Sandoz Pharmaceuticals v. Richardson-Vicks, a highly significant case involving the interrelationship between FDA regulation of over the counter drugs and the Lanham Act. Recently in the Ninth Circuit, we represented the successful copyright claimants in a case defining the protectability of a computer game against unauthorized add-on levels for that game in what has emerged as a critical precedent for the publishers of computer and video games.

In addition, we perform the full range of appellate work in our extensive, nationally known White Collar Criminal Defense practice.

Our litigators are particularly skilled in handling significant constitutional issues. We were co-counsel for plaintiffs in the New York litigation over equal marriage rights for same-sex couples under the New York State Constitution. Other representations include our work in the U.S. Supreme Court and in the Sixth Circuit on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers in opposition to the Ohio school voucher program; our representation of wrongfully detained Uighur detainees at Guantanamo Bay in habeas corpus litigation in the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court; our representation of the Archdiocese of Bridgeport in its appeal on First Amendment and other grounds from a district court decision concluding that the Archdiocese owed fiduciary duties to individual parishioners; our work on behalf of a group of families of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks, seeking (together with The New York Times) to obtain the release of 911 tapes, recorded interviews and other information from the City; amicus briefs in the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits on establishment clause challenges to the National Day of Prayer statute and "evolution stickers" in science textbooks; amicus briefs in the Second Circuit and New York Court of Appeals on the constitutional rights of inmates and deportees; a successful federal challenge to a state court order restricting a nationwide tender offer on the ground that the order unconstitutionally interfered with interstate commerce; and a Second Circuit case establishing important due process rights for mentally impaired Social Security disability claimants.