Appellate Litigation

Why You Should Hire an Appellate Attorney

Handling appeals requires special skills: the ability to analyze critically, write persuasively, and focus intently on the essence of the case.

Please see our article links below that explain special issues on appeal.

Appeals don’t just start when you have won or lost a case. To the contrary, if your case involves a substantial right or dollar amount, you should consider consulting an appellate lawyer during litigation and trial. This will protect your rights by making sure (1) you don’t waive arguments needed on appeal; (2) you build a full record for an appeal; and (3) you can better understand how your case theory will hold up on appeal. Furthermore, appeals involve specialized standards of review, and appeals from trial courts have different standards than appeals from administrative agencies. You must consider the correct standard from the beginning.

Our Appellate Team

Bona Law PC attorneys have handled a significant number of appeals in federal and state court (including the United States Supreme Court). We have represented both the appellants and appellees (losers and winners below), and have also often prepare “amicus” briefs (representing non-parties to the appeal who want to influence the outcome). We can work seamlessly and effectively with existing trial counsel who lack the desire or experience to handle the appeal, but want to stay involved.

Our appellate team includes four lawyers:

Steven Levitsky is a McGill Law School graduate who has handled over 100 appeals in federal and state court, including the Supreme Court of the United States, the Second Circuit, and the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court). In the Court of Appeals, for example, he won an important minority shareholder rights case, and also represented a state court judge in a disciplinary matter. In the Appellate Division, First Department (covering Manhattan), he won a petition to readmit a disbarred but rehabilitated lawyer. (This was the only time the Appellate Division readmitted a felony-convicted attorney over the objections of the Disciplinary Committee).

Jarod Bona is a Harvard Law School graduate, who clerked for federal appellate Judge James B. Loken of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Bona then began his career as an appellate and constitutional law litigator in Washington, DC for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He has briefed and argued appeals in both state and federal courts.

William Markham is a 1987 Harvard Law School graduate with significant experience bringing and defending appeals in federal and state court.

Aaron Gott has participated in appeals for parties and amici in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Fourth Circuit, the Eighth Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, the Tenth Circuit and the Minnesota Supreme Court. He has argued and won an appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

How We Charge

We have the flexibility to handle appeals either on a flat-fee basis or an hourly rate.

Courts Where We Have Handled Appeals

Bona Law attorneys have handled appeals in the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, and California, Minnesota and New York state courts, including the highest courts of each of those states.

More Information

To read more about our approach to appellate litigation, please review the following articles on The Antitrust Attorney Blog:

  1. Three Reasons to Hire an Appellate Attorney.
  2. What is Great Legal Writing?
  3. Three Components of Every Effective Appellate Argument.
  4. Why You Should Consider Filing an Amicus Brief in an Appellate Case.
  5. How to Write a Significant Antitrust or Appellate Brief.
Amicus Curiae Briefs

We also regularly file amicus briefs for clients in state and federal courts. These “friend of the court” briefs are designed to educate the Court on one or more issues that our client cares about. It gives a client the chance to influence the law even though they are not involved in a case.

For example, Jarod Bona and Aaron Gott recently filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in the landmark North Carolina Dental Examiners v. FTC case that changed the law on state-action antitrust immunity. Jarod Bona also filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., arguing that a market-participant exception should apply to state-action immunity from the antitrust laws.

You can read our article on why you should file an amicus brief, here. You can read a related article on amicus briefs at The Antitrust Attorney Blog.

Bona Law PC attorneys have also filed several amicus briefs in state appellate and supreme courts. For example, Jarod Bona and Aaron Gott filed an amicus brief in the Minnesota Supreme Court in a property rights case involving municipal power and real estate.

Examples of Our Appeal Briefs

Below are just some of the cases where Bona Law PC attorneys have filed amicus briefs.

  • Supreme Court of the United States: North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC (antitrust action against state licensing board, involving issues of state-action immunity).

  • Supreme Court of the United States: FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc. (antitrust action involving hospital merger with governmental entity, involving issues of state-action immunity).

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care v. Reyes.

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit: American Farmers Bureau Federation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (supporting privacy rights of small businesses and farmers).

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: Colon Health Centers of America v. Hazel (constitutional case challenging Virginia state certificate-of-need law under the Dormant Commerce Clause)

  • Minnesota Supreme Court: Dean et al. v. City of Winona (Real estate and property rights case involving a challenge to a municipal rental ban).

  • Minnesota Supreme Court: Lorraine White, Trustee v. City of Elk River (Real estate and property rights case involving zoning and a municipality's attempt to terminate a non-conforming use).

  • Minnesota Supreme Court: McCaughtry v. City of Red Wing (Real estate and property rights case challenging constitutionality of a rental inspection ordinance and certain administrative warrants).

  • California Supreme Court: Michaelis, Montanari & Johnson v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Challenge relating to public disclosure of competing proposals submitted to a public agency relating to an airport lease)

  • California Supreme Court: Siebel v. Mittlesteadt (holding that a post-judgment settlement constitutes favorable termination in a malicious prosecution action where the plaintiff received a favorable judgment in the underlying action and settled without giving up that judgment).

Call Us to Discuss Your Possible Appeal

If you think you might need an appellate attorney, please contact us (1) at our San Diego office at +1 858-964-4589; (2) at our New York office at +1 212-634-6861; or (3) email us at