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

Taylor Barr
Associate ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8235
(251) 344-9696
Taylor
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
John Coleman, III
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5167
(205) 244-5623
John
Betsy Collins
Partner ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8207
(251) 706-2414
Betsy
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
Gerald Gillespy
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5348
(205) 244-5644
Gerald
Vincent Graffeo
Counsel ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5333
(205) 244-5721
Vincent
Gregory Harley
Partner ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4243
(404) 817-3214
Gregory
Jessica Hew
Partner ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6646
(321) 249-0527
Jessica
Erin Howell
Associate ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4276
(404) 214-7960
Erin
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
Christopher Meyer
Associate ~ Jackson, Mississippi|
(601) 709-3455
(601) 355-5150
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
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
Thomas Potter, III
Partner ~ Nashville, Tennessee|
(615) 724-3231
(615) 724-3331
Thomas
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
Robert Rutherford
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5286
(205) 458-5100
Robert
John Schifino
Partner ~ Tampa, Florida|
(813) 367-5739
(813) 357-3524
John
Anna Scully
Associate ~ Mobile, Alabama|
(251) 345-8205
(251) 344-9696
Anna
Elizabeth Shirley
Partner ~ Birmingham, Alabama|
(205) 458-5186
(205) 244-5705
Elizabeth
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
Peter Vilmos
Partner ~ Orlando, Florida|
(407) 540-6622
(407) 650-2955
Peter
Jennifer Ziemann
Associate ~ Atlanta, Georgia|
(404) 685-4336
(404) 214-7959
Jennifer

Experience Matters

Brief sentence defining representative matters.

  • Appellate

    Appellant’s counsel for venture capital firm seeking to overturn a judgment in favor of borrowers arising out of non-issuance of commitment letter. Favorable settlement on appeal.
  • Appellate

    Appellant’s counsel on appeal of $14 million wrongful death jury verdict involving death of a child by electrocution from a candy machine. Substantial remittitur.
  • Employment Litigation

    Represented trucking company in action brought by truck driver against former employer alleging wrongful termination where driver was laid off in a reduction of force but maintained the employer had ulterior, unlawful motives for the decision. Summary judgment affirmed on appeal.
  • Maritime Insurance

    Represented maritime insurer in pursuit of action for declaratory judgment construing insurance policy for vessel and to defend breach of contract and bad faith claims arising out of the sinking of yacht off the Alabama coast. Trial resulted in verdict in favor of maritime insurer on bad faith claim.
  • Foreclosure

    Represented Alabama Improvement District in suit for injunction by developer of mixed-use property in order to prevent foreclosure by District. Injunctive relief denied.