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Critical Motions / Appeals

The firm enjoyed tremendous success in these areas under the lead of one of our former co-founding members, Raymond Kethledge, who was honored with an appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2008 and now goes by “The Honorable” Raymond M. Kethledge. Judge Kethledge is not only an exceptional legal mind; he is also a strong judge of talent. Since he took the bench, several of Judge Kethledge’s clerks have been selected to clerk for the United States Supreme Court or for prestigious Bristow fellowships with the Office of the Solicitor General. To BSP’s benefit, another of those clerks, Stephanie Douglas, declined the suggestion that she too pursue a Supreme Court clerkship. Based on Judge Kethledge’s recommendation, we brought Stephanie on board to lead our critical motions and appeals group.

Our complex briefing team, led by BSP Members Stephanie Douglas and Michael Williams, includes attorneys who have clerked for the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Circuits, and federal district courts across the country.

The team members pride themselves in quickly digesting complex technical matters and mastering novel legal issues – even on unfamiliar subject matters. The team has enjoyed success delivering understandable and persuasive arguments involving a variety of topics to trial and appellate courts. Particularly when the stakes and challenges are high, corporations trust BSP to pave the way toward success.

During the pre-trial and trial phases of any litigation, BSP maximizes our clients’ prospects on appeal, including through Daubert challenges, motions in limine, and dispositive and post-verdict motions. BSP assists clients with appellate matters in state and federal courts across the country. Even where BSP is not involved in the trial phase of a case, our team can comb the record to craft the strongest arguments for a successful appeal.

Representative Matters

  • In the Federal Circuit, BSP authored briefs and argued a complex NAFTA tax appeal, resulting in a published opinion overturning the judgment in favor of the government.
  • In the Eastern District of Kentucky, our team offered advanced motions and trial support that resulted in favorable pre-trial and trial rulings in a product liability matter, leading the plaintiff to abandon millions of dollars in claimed damages and helping the trial team obtain a complete defense verdict.
  • In the Sixth Circuit, BSP provided strategy and revamped a brief in an insurance dispute that led the appellate court to uphold the client’s multi-million dollar summary judgment.
  • In the Eastern District of Michigan, BSP successfully moved to dismiss a high-exposure product liability lawsuit on choice-of-law and statute-of-repose grounds and obtained affirmance on appeal.
  • In the Michigan Supreme Court, BSP authored an amicus brief regarding the proper interpretation and constitutionality of a taxing statute; the high court issued a ruling consistent with our analysis.
  • In Michigan state court, our team obtained summary dismissal of a multi-million dollar employment lawsuit and was awarded $300,000 in prevailing-party costs; both rulings were affirmed on appeal.
  • In the Michigan Court of Appeals, BSP obtained a published decision affirming a multi-million dollar award of interest and sanctions and later defeated the State’s application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court in a complex state tax appeal.
  • In Pennsylvania state court, BSP successfully defended summary judgment in a wrongful-death product liability appeal.
  • In Michigan state court, our team architected claims, defeated a dispositive motion, and obtained an 8-figure settlement for our client before discovery in a multi-state insurance action.
  • In Missouri state court, BSP obtained and preserved on appeal a dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Represents a major automotive manufacturer with cross-case legal strategy for advanced-technology litigation and other strategic issues.
  • In Michigan appellate courts, the BSP appeals team successfully preserved the interpretation of tax refund statute worth approximately $8.5 million to the client.
  • In Michigan trial and appellate courts, BSP successfully represented the Michigan Legislature in a constitutional and statutory challenge to Governor Whitmer’s executive orders.
  • BSP, representing the Michigan Legislature, won several election-law victories in the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Sixth Circuit.
  • As a case headed to trial in Georgia, our appellate team helped prepare and argue pre-trial motions that defeat punitive damages and limit expert testimony, drawing a quick settlement offer.
  • Partnering with two trial teams to defend two class actions in two states, our team spotted a standing problem in one action and an arbitration agreement in the other; neither proceeded past jurisdictional discovery.
  • As appellate counsel in a pending class action, worked with trial and discovery counsel from three national firms to defeat a motion to compel valuable trade secrets that would have been incredibly burdensome to produce, and that the plaintiffs had not shown were necessary to prove their claims.
  • As critical-motions counsel for a California consumer-warranty case, partnered with trial counsel to prepare pre-trial motions, jury instructions, and verdict form for a trifurcated trial, and following a trial continuance, disposed of the case on a summary-judgment motion.
  • Defended jury verdict on an eight-issue appeal of a negligence action in the Michigan Court of Appeals, and defeated application for further appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.
  • As critical-motions counsel for a product-liability trial in Texas federal court, prepared pre-trial motions and directed-verdict motion, along with the trial team; punitive-damages claim was dismissed on directed verdict and jury returned defense verdict.
  • As appellate counsel for a product-liability trial in Michigan state court, prepared and argued pre- and mid-trial motions, jury instructions, and verdict form issues to preserve legal issues for appeal; jury returned defense verdict.
  • Defended summary judgment ruling on appeal in Michigan race-discrimination and retaliatory discharge claim, convincing the appellate court that the plaintiff’s arguments on appeal were not preserved, and that in any event, the plaintiff had not identified a comparable treated more favorably and had no evidence that the employer’s reason for discharging the plaintiff were pretextual, and that the record was “bereft of any causal connection” between the plaintiff’s complaints and any adverse employment action.
  • In an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, successful mooted an appeal by moving to amend the trial court’s Notice of Removal to cure the alleged defect in subject matter jurisdiction that the plaintiff argued required remand rather than dismissal.
  • Before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, successfully defended summary judgment in a disability-discrimination case on the grounds that an employer has no obligation to create a new position, or convert a temporary position into a full-time job, to accommodate those with disabilities.
  • Assisted trial team to win defense verdict in two-week Ohio consumer protection jury trial, through critical motion briefing and hearings, jury instructions, and verdict forms; preserved verdict in post-trial motion practice.
  • On interlocutory review, won published reversal of trial court ruling that would have imposed vicarious liability for auto accidents on certain long-term lessors.

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