Appellate Practice

Not every case is concluded at the trial court. When issues remain to be argued, Litchfield Cavo LLP's clients capitalize on our firm's accomplished appellate attorneys' ability to skillfully resolve intricate appeal issues.

The firm has a sound record of successfully appealing adverse trial court rulings and defending lower court victories on appeal.

Our attorneys have written and argued hundreds of matters on appeal before state and federal appellate panels throughout the country. We provide insurers and business clients with the highest caliber of representation in all phases of litigation. Often this includes motions for post-trial relief, motions to vacate, motions for reconsideration, appeals, oral arguments and writs.

We have been and continue to be very involved in coverage litigation related to toxic tort, environmental and construction matters, all on a national scale

Establishing valuable case law

Litchfield Cavo has undertaken appeals in high courts throughout the United States to help form the law on a wide range of substantive and conditional defenses that are both factual and legal. Such appeals are responsible for the development of favorable law on seminal issues to the industry, such as late notice, pollution exclusion, number of occurrences, known loss, allocation and damages.

Existing and new clients seek our lawyers' knowledge and perspective in filing amicus curiae briefs and to assist national, regional and local insurance institutions with protecting their contractual and legal rights.

The firm has special proficiency in handling appeals related to our insurance coverage and defense areas of concentration. Our trial attorneys handle lower court proceedings in a manner that anticipates issues on appeal.

Our appellate record

The firm has a demonstrated record of success on appeal that includes the following cases:

  • The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of our client, holding for the first time that the Illinois rule that insureds are responsible for knowing the terms of their policies applies to claims against insurers and to claims against insurance agents.
  • The Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the dismissal of a complaint by a commercial tenant against our client, a real estate investment firm and hospitality management company, for personal injuries and damages arising from the plaintiff's purported exposure to mold. The appeals court affirmed that the underlying basis for the plaintiff's expert opinions did not meet reliability requirements.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit affirmed a summary judgment victory in an advertising injury and personal injury coverage case in which the insured sought in excess of $13 million for its share of a settlement and assigned defense costs of an underlying copyright infringement complaint.
  • The California Supreme Court rejected the petition for review in a commercial easement dispute over property in Los Angeles once owned by silent film star Gloria Swanson.
  • The Massachusetts Appeals Court vacated a summary judgment order requiring a homeowner's insurer to defend a personal injury action arising from the homeowner's dogs attacking a neighbor and her dog.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled in our favor that the district court committed a clear error when it reformed a policy to include a contaminated parcel as an insured property.
  • The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of a complaint brought by a condominium association against the City of Chicago, a developer and the garage association related to proposed new construction on the condominium association's property. In an issue of first impression in Illinois, we successfully argued that the condominium association lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because its bylaws required two-thirds of its members to approve the lawsuit prior to filing.
  • The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of a complaint brought against a workers' compensation third-party administrator alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress and bodily injuries stemming from a claim handler's decision to discontinue payment for at-home nurse care. The appellate court affirmed that the civil suit was barred by the exclusive remedies available in the workers' compensation system. This was an important win for the industry. Had this claim been allowed to go forward, it could have opened the courthouse doors to claimants who disagree with a benefits decision.