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Appellate Law


Why an Appellate Specialist?

When on appeal, it is important to remember that your case is bigger than just your case: appeals have the potential to establish rules for an entire area of law, and appellate judges may use your case as a vehicle to establish legal rules for years to come. As appellate judges take a broader perspective on your case, so must your appellate lawyer. Whether seeking to secure affirmance or reversal of a trial court decision or obtaining discretionary appellate review from the Supreme Court, Varnum’s appellate team has the skills and experience to demonstrate how the result we advocate for you is consistent withand compelled bythe broader fabric of the law.

Insight into the decision making of appellate judges, understanding the unique appellate rules and jurisdictional doctrines, and the ability to frame and focus on the key issues through skilled written and oral advocacy are hallmarks of a Varnum appellate attorney. Why use an attorney with an appellate focus? To give yourself the best chance on appeal to win.

For more information, please contact your Varnum attorney, or Gary Mouw at 616/336-6424 or

Behind the Scenes Insight

Any number of attorneys may do appeals, but only a handful have the behind the scenes insight of an appellate federal clerk. From the Third Circuit in Pennsylvania to the Sixth Circuit in Michigan and the Eighth Circuit in Missouri, our appellate attorneys worked with judges around the country, assisting them in sifting through briefs and the record, deciding cases and drafting opinions. We have had a front row seat to hundreds of appeals, learning not only the intricacies of appellate procedure, but also whatfrom the written brief to oral advocacypersuades judges. This inside knowledge provides a clear advantage when handling an appeal.



Secured reversal of trial court decisions in Michigan and Minnesota Court of Appeals in two separate class action lawsuits involving the pharmacy industry with hundreds of millions of dollars in damages at issue.

Secured reversal of the Court of Appeals by the Michigan Supreme Court in favor of a governmental agency involving an issue of first impression relating to liability of governmental agencies for contempt indemnification damages.

Obtained affirmance from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals of a decision dismissing civil rights action against a major hospital system.

Obtained peremptory reversal from the Michigan Supreme Court in an action involving an issue of first impression concerning the interpretation of an insurance agreement provision that appears in virtually every homeowners’ insurance policy in the country.

Secured affirmance from Michigan Court of Appeals of a dismissal of claims against a seller of a grocery chain of stores for breach of a representation of compliance with laws, establishing that the discovery rule for a breach of a warranty of quality or fitness did not apply.

Represented farmers in the Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court on claims against governmental agencies for unconstitutional taking of property without just compensation and for trespass-nuisance for causing the destruction of the farmers’ crop.

Related Practices

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