Appellate

No appeal is ever routine. There is never a time when results matter more than on final appeal.

Whether as an appellant, appellee or friend of the court, a decision on appeal not only settles the case but becomes the law of the land.

Burr & Forman is home to one of the most experienced appellate practices in the southeast region. Its attorneys are highly skilled in arguing the right issue, in the right way, with a deep understanding of how our appellate courts operate. The firm’s attorneys have handled literally hundreds of appeals at all levels of the state and federal system. Those cases have involved nearly every legal subject as well as challenges to excessive damage awards.

Representative appellate cases include:


  • Stoneridge Investment Partners, v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., 552 U.S. 148, 128 S. Ct. 761 (2008) (defense of securities fraud litigation)
  • W.R. Huff Asset Management Co., v. Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts, 566 F.3d 979 (11th Cir. 2009)(preemption of state law by SLUSA)
  • Cottrell v. NCAA, 975 So. 2d 306 (Ala. 2007), cert. denied, 128 S.Ct. 1334 (2008)(defense of NCAA in defamation claim)
  • Mack Trucks, Inc. v. Witherspoon, 867 So. 2d 307 (Ala. 2004) (defense of product manufacturer)
  • Leverso v. SouthTrust Bank, 18 F.3d 1527 (11th Cir. 1994) (defense of bondholder in class action over condominium development)
  • Tucker v. Fearn, 333 F.3d 1216 (11th Cir. 2003)(defense of boat operator under maritime law).
  • Harbert International, Inc. v. James, 157 F.3d 1271 (11th Cir. 1998)(representation of bridge builder for non-payment)
  • McClain v. Metabolife International, Inc., 401 F.3d 1233 (11th Cir. 2005)(defense of diet supplement manufacturer )
  • American Radio Assn. v. Mobile Steamship Assn., 419 U.S. 215 (1974) (labor dispute over whether unions may picket foreign ships)

A complete list of Burr’s appellate cases is available upon request.

A key indicator of excellence is the number of clients who pick Burr for an appeal after suffering an adverse trial result, or who contact Burr to seek an emergency appeal. Another indicator is the many amicus curiae organizations who select Burr to file their briefs, such as the Business Council of Alabama, the Defense Research Institute ("DRI"), the American Council of Life Insurers ("ACLI"), the Product Liability Advisory Council ("PLAC"), the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies ("NAMIC"), and the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association.

Burr’s appellate attorneys hold key leadership roles such as the Alabama Supreme Court’s standing committee on appellate rules. They are frequent writers and speakers on appellate practice, and they have been named by their peers in the appellate category of “Best Lawyers in America.”

Burr’s appellate capabilities include:


  • Strategic counseling during trial
  • Post-judgment discovery and enforcement
  • Post-judgment evidentiary hearings
  • Stays of judgment
  • Supersedeas bonds
  • Emergency appeals
  • Petitions for mandamus
  • Petitions for writ of certiorari
  • Evaluations of appeal worthiness
  • Appellate briefs
  • Amicus curiae briefs
  • Oral argument
  • Appellate mediation
  • Rehearing applications

Our Attorneys

John Browning
Partner ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8211
(251) 706-2411
John
Martin Burke
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5447
(205) 244-5613
Martin
C. Paul Cavender
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5350
(205) 244-5618
C. Paul
Benjamin Coulter
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5420
(205) 458-5643
Benjamin
Devin Dolive
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5332
(205) 244-5630
Devin
Lisa Geiger
Staff Attorney ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6644
(321) 249-0522
Lisa
Gregory Harley
Partner ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4243
(404) 817-3214
Gregory
Atoyia Harris
Associate ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8253
(251) 706-3519
Atoyia
Erin Howell
Associate ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4276
(404) 214-7960
Erin
Taylor Johnson
Associate ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8235
(251) 344-9696
Taylor
John Lassiter
Partner ~ Jackson, Mississippi|
(601) 709-3432
(866) 443-1583
John
Forrest Latta
Partner ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8212
(251) 344-9696
Forrest
Joseph Letzer
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5212
(205) 244-5671
Joseph
Michael Lucas
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5204
(205) 244-5673
Michael
Ellen Mathews
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5410
(205) 714-6897
Ellen
John Mooresmith
Counsel ~ Montgomery, Alabama|
(334) 387-2072
(205) 244-5685
John
William Murray, Jr.
Retired Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5202
(205) 244-5691
William
Brian Neal
Partner ~ Nashville, Tennessee|
(615) 724-3246
(615) 724-3346
Brian
Samuel Nelson
Partner ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6653
(321) 249-0592
Samuel
Rhett Owens
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5278
(205) 458-5100
Rhett
Julie Pittman
Staff Attorney ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5239
(205) 244-5696
Julie
Stephen Price
Partner ~ Nashville, Tennessee|
(615) 724-3223
(615) 724-3290
Stephen
R. Marshall Rainey
Partner ~ Tampa, Florida|
(813) 367-5761
(813) 357-3521
E. Travis Ramey
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5489
(205) 244-5729
E. Travis
J. Mitchell Relfe
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5318
(205) 244-5622
Holly Rhea
Associate ~ Nashville, Tennessee|
(615) 724-3211
(615) 724-3311
Holly
Robert Rutherford
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5286
(205) 458-5100
Robert
John Schifino
Partner ~ Tampa, Florida|
(813) 367-5739
(813) 357-3524
John
Latasha Scott
Associate ~ Tampa, Florida|
(813) 367-5747
(813) 357-3500
Latasha
Daniel Snyder
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5417
(205) 244-5652
Daniel
Michael Strasavich
Partner ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8206
(251) 706-2409
Michael
Sheena Thakrar
Associate ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6660
(321) 249-0712
Sheena
Hannah Thrasher
Associate ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5362
(205) 244-5719
Hannah
Peter Vilmos
Partner ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6622
(407) 650-2955
Peter
Allan Wheeler
Counsel ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5235
(205) 244-5741
Allan
Jennifer Ziemann
Associate ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4336
(404) 214-7959
Jennifer

Experience Matters

Brief sentence defining representative matters.

  • Appellate

    Appellee’s counsel for excess insurer on appeal by policyholder of denial of coverage for an excess jury verdict due to late notice. Summary judgment affirmed for insurer.
  • Appellate

    Amicus counsel for insurance industry organization in support of defendant in US Supreme Court case involving $1.3 million punitive award to a health insurance consumer who alleged agent fraud. Remanded.
  • Appellate

    Amicus counsel for business chamber organization in support of defendant in US Supreme Court case involving $4 million punitive award to the owner of a vehicle that was repainted before delivery as new. Vacated and remanded.
  • Breach of Contract

    Represented liability insurer in defense of breach of contract/bad faith claims brought by alleged insured where alleged insured had been sued for wrongful death and multi-million dollar judgment had been entered against alleged insured, where alleged insured had been excluded from coverage by endorsement. Summary judgment affirmed on appeal in published opinion.
  • Appellate

    Appellee’s counsel in appeal involving dismissal on summary judgment of a health insurance claimant whose bad faith claims against a third-party administrator were dismissed on grounds of lack of privity. Affirmed.