Montgomery McCracken’s Appellate Practice includes attorneys who have won appeals in the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Third Circuit and most other circuits, the Supreme, Superior, and Commonwealth Courts of Pennsylvania, and the appellate courts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and other states. Many attorneys in the group had judicial clerkships in federal and state courts and have served on the law reviews or faculties of leading law schools.

Excellence in appellate advocacy demands a particular combination of skills that even the most skilled trial lawyers may not possess. The likelihood of prevailing on appeal increases significantly when a party’s briefs are compelling, carefully researched, and well-written. At oral argument, advocates with appellate experience understand how to answer judges’ questions persuasively—a different skill than delivering an impassioned speech to a jury. In deciding what arguments will best serve our clients’ interests on appeal, we capitalize on existing precedent, differentiate less favorable cases, and provide solutions to appellate judges concerned about how their rulings will apply in future cases.

Attorneys in our Appellate Practice regularly handle appeals after our colleagues ably represented clients in a trial court or before an administrative agency. Our task is to convince the appellate court to uphold our client’s victory below. Other times, clients may retain us when their cases reach the appellate stage, either to contest a disappointing result or defend a successful outcome. In those cases, we work cooperatively with the client’s other lawyers to seek the best possible outcome on appeal.

In addition to traditional appellate work, attorneys from the group serve as extra hands at trial to focus on preservation issues, evidentiary proffers, motions in limine, and bench briefs. We also provide extra support to busy trial attorneys before trial by handling significant briefing like summary judgment and class certification.

appellate services:

  • We research and write appellate briefs, including amicus curiae briefs, for filing in federal and state appellate courts.
  • We research and write petitions for mandamus or other extraordinary relief.
  • We present oral argument to appellate courts.
  • We research and write petitions seeking discretionary review in the Supreme Court of the United States, federal circuit courts, and other appellate courts like the Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and the New York Court of Appeals.
  • We assist in preparing significant trial court briefs.

Why Should you Hire an Appellate Attorney?

  • You need fresh eyes. Trial lawyers can be too close to their own cases to handle an appeal. Appellate judges have a different focus than trial judges, and the law takes center stage instead of the facts. Whether you won or lost below, we can take a fresh look at your case and craft the best possible arguments to secure or maintain a win.
  • You are trying a high-stakes case. Is the case likely to be appealed? We can serve as embedded appellate counsel to let you focus on witnesses and the facts while we handle preservation of objections, evidentiary proffers, and other thorny legal issues that come up midstream.
  • You need deep appellate experience.  We are former federal and state law clerks from both the appellate and trial levels who know how judges think about legal issues. We have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in appellate briefing and oral argument and can leverage this deep experience for our clients.
  • You don’t have time to dedicate to briefing an appeal.  We will dig into the record and put in the time to identify the best arguments. Whether the appeal is from a decision at the pleading stage, summary judgment, or trial, we will prioritize your client’s interests and produce high-quality, persuasive briefing.


  • Represented employer as appellee before the Fourth Circuit in appeal focused on jury instructions. Achieved partial dismissal of appeal on jurisdictional grounds and affirmance of district court’s denial of a motion for extension of time to appeal. Appellate court never reached the merits of the appeal.
  • Successfully argued before the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Gennock v. Kirklands Inc., 299 A.3d 900 (Pa. 2023), that plaintiffs bringing FACTA class action based on mere technical violation of the statute did not satisfy Pennsylvania’s standing requirements, reversing trial court. Case presented an issue of first impression regarding the application of state standing principles to federal causes of action.
  • Argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on behalf of plaintiffs who were charged unlawful fees by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Appeal concerned whether the Commonwealth could be shielded from liability for its unlawful behavior by sovereign immunity.
  • Co-Counsel for the prevailing parties in cases before the Supreme Court of the United States: CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co., Ltd., __ U.S. __, 140 S. Ct. 1081 (2020) (determining vessel charterer’s liability for clean-up costs under a standard maritime industry “safe-berth” clause when an oil tanker struck a nine-ton anchor abandoned on the bed of the Delaware River), and Microsoft Corp. v. Baker, __ U.S. __, 137 S. Ct. 1702 (2017) (availability of appellate review in federal class actions).
  • Co-Authored petitions and responses to petitions for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.
  • Briefed, argued, and prevailed in numerous appeals decided in the Third Circuit, in other federal courts of appeal, and in state appellate courts, including many appeals of great significance to our clients and to the general public.
  • Accepted pro bono appellate appointments from the Third Circuit in non-criminal cases and reduced-fee appellate appointments from the Third Circuit to represent defendants in criminal cases.

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