Appellate Practice

RRD has extensive experience in appellate advocacy before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts as well as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Effective appellate advocacy requires the finely tuned ability to review the record with a critical eye; to determine the viability of an appeal; to identify, analyze, and brief determinative legal and factual issues; and to present a logical and persuasive oral argument. This practice can be more demanding than trial. The record on appeal is usually fixed, the standards that permit relief are more stringent, and months of litigation must be condensed into an appellate brief. Unlike a jury trial, an oral argument provides an appellate attorney with only minutes to present a clear and forceful response to a question from the bench. Persuasive legal writing and oration are essential.

The firm’s recent representative appellate case wins include:

  • International Strategies Group v. Ness, (Second Circuit Court of Appeals, 2011) (Affirming U.S. District Court’s dismissal of action for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty brought against officer of investment bank accused of illegally dissipating $4 million investment).
  • Boulanger v. Town of Old Lyme, 127 Conn. App. 572 (2011) (Affirming summary judgment in favor of a Connecticut municipality and its first selectman in a lawsuit alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. Section 1983; state and federal due process violations; state and federal equal protection violations; the takings clause of the state and federal constitutions; as well as a writ of mandamus and declaratory relief).
  • Tirreno v. Mott, et al., 375 Fed. Appx. 140 (2010) (Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed jury verdict in favor of defendant bail bondsman on allegations of civil rights violations for warrantless entry into premises in connection with search for a fugitive).
  • Waisonovitz v. Metro North, 350 Fed. Appx. 497 (2009) (Second Circuit Court of Appeals).
  • Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Lone Star Industries, Inc., 290 Conn. 767 (2009). (Upholding validity of silica exclusion in toxic tort coverage action).
  • Hamilton v. United Services Automobile Assoc., 115 Conn. App. 774 (2009). (Holding that injured party cannot maintain declaratory judgment action against third party insurer absent judgment against insured).
  • Stearns and Wheeler, LLC., v. Kowalsky Brothers, Inc., 289 Conn. 1 (2008). (Precluding a third-party from assigning an unfair trade practices claim against an employer to an injured employee).
  • DaGraca v. Kowalsky Brothers, Inc., 100 Conn. App. 781, cert. denied, 283 Conn. 904 (2007) (Affirming summary judgment for defendant in wrongful-death action against employer seeking recovery for work-related incident in which employees asphyxiated after descending into manhole).
  • Juchniewicz v. Bridgeport Hospital, 281 Conn. 29 (2007) (Estate of patient, who died from an untreated bacterial infection that caused her to suffer toxic shock syndrome, brought wrongful death action against physician and hospital).
  • Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church, 94 Conn. App. 617, cert. granted, 278 Conn. 915 (2006) (Finding church was not a “keeper” of church employee's dog under Connecticut's dog bite statute).
  • Lin v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 277 Conn. 1 (2006) (Upholding defense verdict in wrongful death action brought by estate of pedestrian who was struck and killed by a train while walking on a railroad trestle)
  • Judson v. Brown, 98 Conn. App. 381 (2006). (Affirming jury verdict in favor of defendants in medical malpractice action).
  • Coughlin v. Anderson, 270 Conn. 487 (2004) (Affirming directed verdict in favor of defendant homeowner in connection with neighbor’s claim of trespass due to unrecorded subterranean easements).
  • McManus v. Sweeney, 78 Conn. App. 327 (2003) (Affirming summary judgment on behalf of attorney in a lawsuit alleging defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress).