Appellate Law

Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt has an extensive appellate-litigation practice with experienced attorneys. These attorneys handle cases before both state and federal courts of appeals, including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Supreme Court of Alabama, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, and appeals from administrative agencies.

Wallace Jordan attorneys have appeared in well over a hundred appellate proceedings. The firm’s appellate lawyers handle all types of appeals, including appeals from final judgments, interlocutory appeals, applications for rehearing, petitions for writs of certiorari, and petitions for writs of mandamus or prohibition.

Attorneys in the firm’s appellate practice pursue and defend appeals from cases that were handled at the trial-court level by Wallace Jordan attorneys as well as attorneys from other firms. Wallace Jordan’s appellate lawyers independently assess and study the record on appeal, but they also frequently work with the trial attorneys to utilize their knowledge of the case. The firm’s appellate counsel add a fresh perspective, appellate experience, knowledge of appellate courts and procedures, and expertise in writing briefs and presenting oral arguments, all which give the client the highest likelihood for the best result on the appeal.

Wallace Jordan’s appellate attorneys handle appeals in cases on a wide variety of subjects and represent both parties who were plaintiffs and parties who were defendants in the trial court. Recent cases cover a wide range of legal areas including arbitration, child custody, real estate, employment, elections, voting rights, and fraud. The firm’s appellate lawyers also prepare amicus curiae briefs on behalf of organizations or entities who are not parties to an appeal but have an interest in the outcome.

Practicing before appellate courts requires a different set of skills, knowledge, and expertise than practicing before trial courts. While trial attorneys focus on obtaining information through discovery, questioning witnesses, and making arguments in court to non-lawyer juries, appellate lawyers focus on writing persuasive briefs to the judges on the appeals court. Wallace Jordan’s appellate-practice attorneys are highly skilled legal writers and researchers who can present the case to appellate judges in a way best designed to achieve the desired results. The firm’s attorneys are also highly effective at arguing in person before appellate court judges when the courts permit oral argument. Wallace Jordan’s appellate counsel can navigate the different procedural rules that govern appeals. Procedural errors by lawyers inexperienced with appeals can be fatal to an appeal. The experience and knowledge of Wallace Jordan’s appellate attorneys allows them to provide a more efficient and often more cost-effective appeal without compromising the quality of the advocacy of the case before the appellate court.

Cases of Note:

  • Davis v. Alabama Educ. Ass’n, 92 So. 3d 737 (Ala. 2012) (preliminary injunction ordered vacated as moot)
  • Working v. Jefferson County Election Commission, 72 So. 3d 18 (Ala. 2011) (trial court erred in denying motion to require mediation)
  • Wheeler v. George, 39 So. 3d 1061 (Ala. 2009) (affirming summary judgment on claims against public official in individual capacity)
  • Swanstrom v. Teledyne Continental Motors, Inc., 43 So. 3d 564 (Ala. 2009) (summary judgment reversed in part in wrongful-death case
  • McDermott v. Tabb, 32 So. 3d 1 (Ala. 2009) (reversal of default judgment)
  • Gulf State Park Auth. v. Gulf Beach Hotel, Inc., 22 So. 3d 432 (Ala. 2009) (state government lease/economic development)
  • ClimaStor IV, L.L.C. v. Marshall Constr., L.L.C., 4 So. 3d 452 (Ala. Sept. 5, 2008) (arbitration)
  • New Gourmet Concepts, Inc. v. Siedo Investments Co., 988 So. 2d 961 (Ala. Oct. 19, 2007) (real estate; eminent domain/condemnation; landlord/tenant)
  • Wagner v. White, 985 So. 2d 458 (Ala. Civ. App. 2007) (civil procedure/service by publication/setting aside default judgment)
  • S.P. v. E.T., 988 So. 2d 572 (Ala. Civ. App. Jan. 11, 2008)
  • S.P. v. E.T., 957 So. 2d 1127 (Ala. Civ. App. 2005)
  • Ex parte E.T., 895 So. 2d 271 (Ala. Civ. App. 2003)
  • W.T.M. v. S.P., 889 So. 2d 572 (Ala. Civ. App. 2003) (child custody)
  • Dillard v. Baldwin County Comm’rs, 376 F.3d 1260 (11th Cir. July 13, 2004)
  • Dillard v. Baldwin County Comm’n, 833 So. 2d 13 (Ala. 2002)
  • Dillard v. Baldwin County Comm’rs, 225 F.3d 1271 (11th Cir. 2000) (voting rights)
  • Serra Chevrolet, Inc. v. Hock, 891 So. 2d 844 (Ala. 2004) (arbitration)
  • Serra Toyota, Inc. v. Johnson, 876 So. 2d 1125 (Ala. 2003) (arbitration)
  • Ex parte Woodward, 859 So. 2d 425 (Ala. 2003)
  • Woodward v. Roberson, 789 So. 2d 856 (Ala. 2001) (employment; immunity; state officials)
  • Ex parte Third Generation, Inc., 855 So. 2d 489 (Ala. 2003)
  • Ex parte Third Generation, Inc., 820 So. 2d 89 (Ala. 2001) (civil procedure/post-judgment relief; validity of judgment)
  • Ex parte Connors, 855 So. 2d 486 (Ala. 2003) (election law; subject-matter jurisdiction)
  • National Auction Group v. Hammett, 854 So. 2d 65 (Ala. 2003) (arbitration)
  • Ex parte Glover, 801 So. 2d 1 (Ala. 2001) (amicus curiae) (state government; jail overcrowding; appellate procedure and remedies)
  • Alexander, Corder, Plunk, Baker & Shelly, P.C. v. Jackson, 811 So. 2d 506 (Ala. 2001) (summary judgment/Statute of Frauds)
  • Jefferson County Comm’n v. ECO-Preservation Servs., L.L.C., 788 So. 2d 121 (Ala. 2000) (injunctions; right to put sewer lines in county road right-of-way; exclusivity of county’s authority over operation of sewage treatment facilities and systems)
  • Wilson v. Minor, 220 F.3d 1297 (11th Cir. 2000) (voting rights)
  • Ex parte Employers Modern Life Co., 772 So. 2d 433 (Ala. 2000) (venue)
  • Boackle v. Bedwell Constr. Co., 770 So. 2d 1076 (Ala. 2000) (fraudulent suppression; residential construction; negligence; caveat emptor)
  • James v. James, 768 So. 2d 356 (Ala. 2000) (minority shareholder rights/squeeze-out; corporate mismanagement; derivative action)
  • Ex parte State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 764 So. 2d 543 (Ala. 2000) (amicus curiae) (insurance; subrogation)
  • Ex parte Jefferson County Sheriff’s Dep’t, 806 So. 2d 1262 (Ala. Civ. App. 2000) (public employment)
  • Summit Med. Assocs. v. Pryor, 180 F.3d 1326 (11th Cir. 1999) (appellate jurisdiction; Eleventh Amendment; pre-enforcement challenges to post-viability abortion statute and partial-birth abortion statute)
  • Ex parte Alfa Fin. Corp., 762 So. 2d 850 (Ala. 1999) (consumer finance; retroactive application of statutory amendment)
  • Eubanks v. Hale, 752 So. 2d 1113 (Ala. 1999) (election contest)
  • Crimson Indus., Inc. v. Kirkland, 736 So. 2d 597 (Ala. 1999) (arbitration)
  • Ex parte Woodward, 738 So. 2d 322 (Ala. 1998) (election law; injunction)
  • Brilliant Homes, Ltd. v. Lind, 722 So. 2d 753 (Ala. 1998) (arbitration)
  • Ex parte Collins, 717 So. 2d 771 (Ala. 1998) (redistricting; election law)
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama v. Sanders, 138 F.3d 1347 (11th Cir. 1998) (ERISA/subrogation)
  • Mitchell v. Probate Court of Jefferson County, 689 So. 2d 17 (Ala. 1997) (election contest; constitutional provision governing election of circuit court judges)
  • White v. State of Alabama, 74 F.3d 1058 (11th Cir. 1996) (voting rights)
  • Roe v. State of Alabama, 68 F.3d 404 (11th Cir.), stay vacated sub nom., Hellums v. Alabama, 116 S. Ct. 355 (1995) (see also related cases, Roe v. State of Alabama, 43 F.3d 574 (11th Cir. 1995)
  • Roe v. State of Alabama, 52 F.3d 300 (11th Cir. 1995)) (all concerning dispute over counting of unnotarized, unwitnessed absentee ballots in 1994 state general election)