When the former Maynard Cooper and Nexsen Pruet firms came together, we assembled an appellate group that is second-to-none in its ability to help clients succeed. This team, which includes a deep bench of associates in the Litigation and Insurance groups who clerked for federal circuit judges and state Supreme Court justices, could have worked at any firm in the country, but we chose this firm because of values we share.

Unsurpassed success in the Southeast.

No appellate group brings more experience to bear in the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits. The legacy Nexsen side of our team changed the game when former Judge Billy Wilkins joined the firm after retiring from the Fourth Circuit. His background and our other attorneys’ experience makes our firm the go-to in any high-stakes Fourth Circuit case. Meanwhile, Alabama “tort hell” veteran Lee Bains and former U.S. Supreme Court clerk and Alabama Solicitor General John Neiman had helped legacy Maynard develop a first-tier-ranked appellate practice in the Eleventh Circuit. Our team has repeatedly won reversals of jury verdicts in the Alabama state courts, including recent ones of $11.5 million and $18 million. We have more former Alabama Supreme Court clerks—Tommy Buck, Madison Peace Nye, Jordan LaPorta, and Zach Gillespie—than any other firm. Our recent Eleventh Circuit clerks include Mary Mangan, Reeves Jordan, Braden Morell, and Mollie Gillis Hughes.

National platform, national results.

Clients who have seen our cost-effective work in the southeast have had us go national. Recent years have seen our attorneys winning appeals for these clients in the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and—in a case orally argued in Pasadena by former Ninth Circuit clerk Caleb WolanekNinth Circuits. When a federal court of appeals certified a question that could have upended the insurance industry to New York’s highest state court, our team orally argued the case in Albany and secured the win. We have repeatedly represented clients in California state court and have orally argued cases in the California Supreme Court. One national client has retained us to formulate a national litigation strategy in the U.S. Supreme Court and every federal circuit.

Transcending traditional appellate models.

One of the highest and best uses of our group is making sure things don’t go off the rails at trial. Both locally and nationally, our attorneys frequently serve as appellate counsel on trial teams—advising on strategic objections, issue preservation, and obtaining judgments as a matter of law on significant claims before they ever go to a jury.


Representative Cases

Representative appellate cases since 2010 include:

  • Fenwick v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., No. 20-5595, 2021 WL 100549 (6th Cir. Jan. 12, 2021) (upholding judgment for insurer in ERISA benefit action)
  • McCullough v. AIG Ins. Hong Kong Ltd., 828 F. App'x 704 (11th Cir. 2020) (obtained vacatur of denial of client’s motion to arbitrate $66.5 million bad-faith claim)
  • Protective Life Ins. Co. v. Apex Parks Grp., LLC, No. 1180508, 2020 WL 5582229 (Ala. Sept. 18, 2020) (obtained reversal of $11.4 million jury verdict against client and rendering of judgment for client as matter of law)
  • Davis v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, 980 F.3d 541 (6th Cir. 2020) (upholding judgment for insurer in ERISA benefit action raising novel questions in the Circuit about ERISA standard of review)
  • Miller v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 979 F.3d 118 (2d Cir. 2020) (upholding dismissal of a purported nationwide class action alleging breach of contract)
  • WM Mobile Bay Envtl. Ctr., Inc. v. City of Mobile Solid Waste Auth., 972 F.3d 1240 (11th Cir. 2020) (certifying questions to Alabama Supreme Court relating to execution of $6 million jury verdict for client)
  • Robinson v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 958 F.3d 1137 (11th Cir. 2020) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of claims against client for infestation of home by brown-recluse spiders)
  • Strickland v. Broome, 812 F. App’x 204 (5th Cir. 2020) (upholding dismissal of claims for breach of fiduciary duty and constructive trust in an action involving disputed payment of life-insurance proceeds)
  • Davis v. Chilton County Health Care Auth., Nos. 1180876 & 1180969 (Ala. Mar. 13, 2020) (no-opinion affirmance and dismissal in appeals challenging funding mechanism for client’s operations)
  • In re: HP Inc., 2020-140 (Fed. Cir. Sep. 15, 2020 ) (granting petition for a writ of mandamus and ordered the transfer of the patent case from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of California)
  • Carruth v. Bentley, 942 F.3d 1047 (11th Cir. 2019) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of Section 1983 claims against former Alabama governor over conservation of credit union)
  • McHugh v. Protective Life Ins., 253 Cal. Rptr. 3d 780, 782 (Cal. App. 2019) (obtained affirmance of jury verdict for client on alternative ground that California statute was not retroactive)
  • Moore v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., No. 18-5325, 2019 WL 1499337 (6th Cir. Jan. 3, 2019) (upholding judgment for insurer in ERISA benefit action)
  • Griffin v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 898 F.3d 371 (4th Cir. 2018) (successfully orally argued case raising novel questions about ERISA standard of review)
  • G.R.L.C. Trust v. Garrison Decatur Crossings, LLC, 266 So.3d 690 (Ala. 2018) (successfully defended judgment in lawsuit seeking invalidation of long-term lease)
  • Ex parte Birmingham Airport Auth., 274 So. 3d 964, 965 (Ala. 2018) (obtained writ of mandamus requiring dismissal of all claims against client due to statutory immunity defense)
  • MetLife Sec., Inc. v. Brandt, No. B282949, 2018 WL 6616097 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2018) (successfully orally argued case involving request for attorney fees)
  • Black Diamond Land Management, LLC v. Twin Pines Coal Company, No. 16-15240, 2017 WL 3635178 (Aug. 24, 2017) (upholding dismissal of action under Lanham Act, RICO, and Sherman Act)
  • Landeros v. Pinnacle Recovery, Inc., 692 Fed. App’x. 608 (11th Cir. 2017) (successfully defended, by court appointment, judgment of district court declining to certify class action under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)
  • James v. Total Solutions Inc., 691 Fed. App’x 572 (11th Cir. 2017) (successfully defended summary judgment entered for client in employment case)
  • Ingalls v. U.S. Space & Rocket Ctr., 679 Fed. Appx. 935 (11th Cir. 2017) (successfully argued and defended dismissal of employment claims brought against state agency)
  • Mendel v. Morgan Keegan & Co., 700 Fed. App’x 994 (7th Cir. 2017) (ruling for client in arbitration case)
  • United States v. Parker, 696 Fed. App'x 443 (11th Cir. 2017) (affirming verdict in matter where court appointed firm as special prosecutor for contempt charge)
  • DeCoursey v. Am. Gen. Life Ins. Co., 822 F.3d 469 (8th Cir. 2016) (in insurance case, orally argued and defended summary judgment issued on plaintiff’s claims against client and obtained reversal of summary judgment on client’s counterclaim against plaintiff)
  • Stein v. Regions Morgan Keegan Select High Income Fund, Inc., 821 F.3d 780 (6th Cir. Tenn. 2016) (affirming dismissal of securities claims)
  • Broadband iTV, Inc. v. Hawaiian Telcom, Inc., 669 Fed. App'x 555 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (finding for client in patent case)
  • Kohser v. Protective Life Corp., 649 Fed. App’x 774 (11th Cir. 2016) (upholding summary judgment in Title VII case)
  • Lewis v. Delaware Charter Guarantee & Tr. Co., 642 Fed. App'x 23 (2d Cir. 2016) (upholding dismissal of claims for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract)
  • Levitt v. Southwest Airlines Co. (In re Southwest Airlines Voucher Litig.), 799 F.3d 701 (7th Cir. Ill. 2015) (affirming ruling approving class-action settlement)
  • Pugh v. El Paso Corp. Pension Plan, et al., 617 Fed. App'x 964 (11th Cir. 2015) (affirming favorable judgment in ERISA case)
  • Glenn v. Am. United Life Ins. Co., 604 Fed. App'x 893 (11th Cir. 2015) (affirming favorable judgment in ERISA case)
  • Comptroller of Treasury of Md. v. Wynne, 135 S. Ct. 1787 (2015) (on team that filed amicus brief for state and local government groups in case concerning power of government to tax income earned out of state)
  • Gilley v. S. Research Inst., 176 So. 3d 1214 (Ala. 2015) (successfully defended summary judgment for client against contract and fraud claims relating to intellectual-property issues)
  • Sentinel Ins. Co. v. Ala. Mun. Ins. Corp., No. 1130841, __ So. 3d ___, 2015 WL 5658755 (Ala. Sept. 25, 2015) (obtained reversal of trial court’s decision on insurance-coverage dispute)
  • Hasting v. Bentley, No. 1150009 (pending) (defending Governor against suit challenging his decision to remove Confederate flags from state capitol)
  • Rismed Oncology Sys., Inc. v. Baron, 638 Fed. Appx. 800 (11th Cir. 2015) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of fraud claims)
  • Lindsey v. Baptist Hospital, Inc., 155 So. 3d 90 (Ala. 2014) (mem.) (rejecting plaintiff’s tort claims arising from hospital peer-review process)
  • Grammas v. Ritter, No. 1120854 (Ala. Feb. 14, 2014) (aff'd mem.) (affirming trial court’s entry of judgment for firm client in complex derivative securities action)
  • Magnolia Hospitality, Inc. v. Synovus, No. 1121213 (Ala. Feb. 14, 2014) (aff'd mem.) (affirming trial court’s dismissal of commercial claims brought against firm client)
  • Ala. Psychiatric Servs., P.C. v. A Ctr. for Eating Disorders, L.L.C., 148 So.3d 708 (Ala. 2014) (holding that firm client was entitled to judgment as matter of law in complex commercial case filed by another company)
  • Bliss & Glennon, Inc. v. Ashley, 420 S.W. 3d 379 (Tex. App. – Hous. (1st Dist.) 2014) (reversing trial court’s order certifying nationwide class action against firm client in data breach case; our firm was first engaged after the trial court’s class certification order was entered and appeal notice was filed)
  • In re Bliss & Glennon, Inc., 420 S.W. 3d 379 (Tex. App. – Hous. (1st Dist.) 2014), (granting firm client’s mandamus petition as to trial court’s violation of stay; our firm was first engaged after trial court’s orders were entered)
  • Band v. Twin City Fire Ins., 545 Fed.Appx. 950 (2013) (holding that firm client was entitled to dismissal of bad-faith legal malpractice coverage suit)
  • CNH America v. Ligon Capital, LLC, 160 So.3d 1195 (Ala. 2013)(affirming a landmark $11.4 million verdict that firm obtained for one of its most longstanding clients at trial against another company in complex commercial dispute)
  • Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC v. Pritchard, 122 So. 3d 791 (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (holding that firm client was entitled to enforce an arbitration provision in trustee agreement)
  • Goodner v. Clayton Homes, Inc., No. 12–8021, 2013 WL 5194113 (8th Cir. Sept. 16, 2013) (holding that firm client was entitled to remove class action from state court to federal court).
  • CMH Homes, Inc. v. Goodner, 729 F.3d 832 (8th Cir. 2013) (vacating district court’s order dismissing firm client’s petition to compel arbitration)
  • Lawson v. Life of the South Insurance Company, No. 12-90036-A (11th Cir. Dec. 7, 2012) (denying plaintiff’s Rule 23(f) petition to appeal from district court’s order granting defendant’s motion to strike plaintiff’s nationwide class action allegations, 286 F.2d 689 (M.D. Ga. Sept. 8, 2012))
  • Baxley v. Southwest Airlines Co., No. 12-12654, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20688 (11th Cir. Oct. 4, 2012)(affirming district court’s order granting defendant’s motion to dismiss purported nationwide class asserting claim that airline breached a contract with passengers by refusing to accept drink coupons distributed in conjunction with its frequent flyer program)
  • Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. v. Flores, 692 F.3d 358 (5th Cir. 2012) (reversing jury verdict for borrowers on RICO/fraud/statutory claims, rendering judgment for lender, and holding that release of liens on land collateral did not release the debt owed by borrowers for a manufactured home)
  • Pearson, et al. v. Warner, et al., Case No. 1110142, Slip Op. (Ala. Sept. 25, 2012) (affirming grant of complete summary judgment, under application of Delaware law, in favor of majority shareholder, chairman of the board, and board of directors in shareholder action alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, and corporate mismanagement related to recapitalization of the company's stock)
  • Daniels v. Va. College at Jackson, 478 Fed. Appx. 892 (5th Cir. 2012) (affirming district court's order compelling arbitration and rejecting claim that clause was unconscionable because it allowed the college to seek a preliminary injunction to halt a student's ongoing breach of the agreement and prohibited the arbitrator from awarding any damages not measured by the prevailing party's actual compensatory damages)
  • Metz v. U.S. Life Ins. Co. in the City of New York, 662 F.3d 600 (2d Cir. 2011) (affirming district court order granting defendant’s motion to dismiss purported nationwide class asserting claims for denial of benefits under catastrophic medical insurance policy)
  • Ex parte Morgan Asset Mgt., Inc., 86 So. 3d 309 (Ala. 2011) (granting defendants’ petition for mandamus and ordering trial court to dismiss claims against fund manager and related companies on the basis that the allegations constituted derivative claims and that the plaintiff trust beneficiaries lacked standing to bring a derivative claim)
  • Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Mitchell Co., Inc., 440 Fed. Appx. 759 (11th Cir. 2011) (affirming summary judgment and finding that insurer had no liability where executive’s alleged wrongful actions did not constitute “theft” under the policy even if alleged actions did constitute self-dealing in violation of executive’s fiduciary obligations)
  • Porter v. American Cast Iron Pipe Co., 427 Fed. Appx. 734 (11th Cir. 2011) (affirming district court’s denial of petition to vacate arbitration decision that denied claim for gender discrimination in compensation and holding that retroactivity provision of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act had no impact on arbitrators' award because arbitrators had relied on contractual limitations period rather than statutory one and because none of Federal Arbitration Act's exclusive grounds for vacatur were met)
  • Schwartz v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 665 F.3d 444 (2nd Cir. 2011) (affirming trial court’s denial of motion to vacate arbitration decision that denied claim for gender discrimination in compensation and finding that Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act did not impact the enforcement or application of contractual limitations period)
  • Regions Bank v. Reed, et al., 60 So. 3d 868 (Ala. 2010) (finding, in a decision of first impression, that the Alabama Uniform Trust Code granted the Jefferson County Probate Court full subject matter jurisdiction, concurrent with the Circuit Courts of Alabama, over any and all claims that may be asserted relating to trusts and that the sole claim that can be alleged against a trustee regarding the administration of a trust is a single cause of action for breach of trust)
  • Ex parte Regions Fin. Corp., 67 So. 3d 45 (Ala. 2010) (granting defendants’ petition for mandamus and ordering trial court to dismiss multi-million dollar claims against fund manager and its parent company on the basis that the allegations constituted derivative claims and that the plaintiff shareholders lacked standing to bring a derivative claim)
  • Robinson v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 595 F.3d 1269 (11th Cir. 2010) (affirming application of judicial estoppel to find that debtor’s failure to amend her Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition to include her purported discrimination claim as an asset precluded her from later asserting the claim even though plaintiff repaid her bankruptcy plan 100% before it was discharged)
  • Paine v. Jefferson Nat’l Life Ins. Co., et. al., 594 F.3d 989 (8th Cir. 2010) (affirming summary judgment entered by Eastern District of Arkansas in a life insurance consumer sales fraud case)
  • Olshan Foundation Repair Co. of Mobile, LP v. Schultz, 64 So. 3d 598 (Ala. 2010) (reversing trial court’s denial of motion to compel arbitration and finding sufficient circumstantial evidence of an arbitration agreement despite defendant’s inability to produce copy of signed agreement)



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