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APPELLATE

The Appellate Group practices in a wide variety of substantive law areas, including class action, commercial, constitutional, corporate fraud and misconduct, employment, product liability, railroad regulatory and tort litigation.

Clients choose our appellate lawyers to implement sophisticated post-trial and appellate strategies. In addition to appellate litigation arising from cases litigated by our trial lawyers, we represent clients in post-trial and appellate matters that have been litigated in the trial court by lawyers from other firms because we consistently produce persuasive, effective briefs and oral arguments.

Members of the Appellate practice work closely with our trial lawyers so that legal issues are preserved and dispositive pretrial and post-trial motions are properly briefed and argued. We form trial and appellate teams for large and complex cases so that potential litigation strategies are fully explored and the client’s interests are well protected.

Several of our appellate attorneys have appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court and have filed amici briefs for a number of clients. For example, one of our partners successfully argued the historic state sovereign immunity case, Federal Maritime Commission v. South Carolina State Ports Authority, 535 U.S. 743 (2002). Another partner successfully argued Intertanko v. Locke (consolidated for argument with United States v. Locke), 529 U.S. 89 (2000) for international shipping interests before the Supreme Court of the United States. This has become a lead case in maritime constitutional preemption issues. Having a Washington, D.C., office further enhances our ability to keep close watch on substantive law developments at the Court, while still observing judicial trends in state and federal jurisdictions throughout the country.

Representative Supreme Court Decisions

Federal Maritime Commission v. South Carolina State Ports Authority, 535 U.S. 743 (2002)
States and their instrumentalities are entitled to sovereign immunity in proceedings before federal administrative tribunals. A vessel operator filed a complaint at the Federal Maritime Commission against the South Carolina State Ports Authority. The ALJ dismissed the complaint on the basis of the state’s sovereign immunity reflected in the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Commission itself reversed. TC petitioned for review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and secured a unanimous decision reversing the Commission. The Federal Maritime Commission, joined by the Solicitor General, filed a Petition for Certiorari, which was granted. TC successfully argued that the principle of state sovereign immunity reflected in the 11th Amendment transcended its literal language to apply to proceedings before federal agencies and was not limited to cases filed in Article III courts. The decision, one of the most significant in perhaps the oldest line of Supreme Court cases, affirms the dual sovereignty inherent in our federal system of government.

Insurance Company v. Bank (2000)
Administrative claimant of a bankruptcy estate does not have independent right to seek payment of claim by a surcharge against the value of collateral held by a secured party.

Representative Appellate Decisions

Sihnhold v. Missouri State Employees Retirement System
Retired administrative law judge not entitled to retroactive increase in retirement benefits [TC represented retirement system].

Scanwell Freight Express STL, Inc. v. Chan

Error in jury instruction on employee’s duty of loyalty when leaving for new employment required new trial on claim against employee; Missouri Supreme Court later adopted new approved instruction in accordance with this opinion [TC represented employee].

Eagle Marine Industries, Inc. v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.

Illinois Vehicle Code provision limiting the time a train can obstruct a grade crossing was preempted and violated Commerce Clause [TC represented railroad].

Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co.

Certification of class of persons and businesses allegedly exposed to toxic substances after train derailment was not appropriate because common issues did not predominate [TC represented railroad].

Publications

Court rejects contractor’s mechanic’s lien because of ‘intent’

Key takeaways for creditors after the Supreme Court's divided ruling on spousal guarantors

What’s next for class action defendants after Tyson Foods?

Appellate decision helps CA dealers navigate CLRA responses

U.S. Department of Labor updates FMLA guidance about who is a "spouse" following Supreme Court ruling

Illinois employers face decision as appellate court limits offer of at-will employment as consideration for competition restrictions

NLRB posting requirement struck down by court; federal contractors still on the hook

President Obama's NLRB recess appointments ruled unconstitutional by federal appeals court

Blog Posts

So you think you can avoid California’s anti-jury waiver?

New actions based on ‘nothing artificial’ labels may be halted as FDA redefines ‘natural’

‘I’m yours … and yours’: California Supreme Court puts restrictions on ‘dual agents’

11th Circuit better defines FTC’s ‘Unfair’ standard – The details are in the damage

Missouri appellate court rejects ‘ingredient list’ defense in food labeling case

Ninth Circuit holds juries can decide the definition of ‘natural’

Rapper rumble leads to legal rumble over use of tweet

Hold who harmless? Be careful in drafting indemnity provisions

EPA sets flip-flopping precedent, reversing prior pesticide registration

Possible hospital malpractice exposure in Missouri for non-employed physicians

News

Thompson Coburn returns to the U.S. Supreme Court on state sovereign immunity

Thompson Coburn client wins attorneys’ fees ruling from 9th Circuit

Missouri Lawyers Weekly honors Booker Shaw with Mentor Award

Sixth Circuit rules cows can be leased

U.S. Supreme Court unanimously sides with position of Thompson Coburn airline client

Booker T. Shaw honored as 2014 professional mentor of the year

Jeff Masson named ‘Influential Appellate Advocate’ for Monsanto Supreme Court win

Thompson Coburn files U.S. Supreme Court brief for international airline group

Thompson Coburn secures Illinois appellate victory for Legion Indemnity Co.

Thompson Coburn secures Illinois appellate victory for community hospital

Missouri Supreme Court sides with Mercy Hospital St. Louis in class action over billing practices

Appellate victory helps strengthen statute of limitations in UCC conversion cases

Partner Liz Blackwell named a 2013 Woman Worth Watching

Thompson Coburn partner Sherri Strand talks about U.S. Supreme Court win on Lutheran radio

Thompson Coburn part of team that won landmark religious liberty case in U.S. Supreme Court

Thompson Coburn obtains Missouri Supreme Court victory for Laclede Gas Company

Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6126

Mike has extensive experience handling probate and trust litigation for both fiduciaries and beneficiaries and leads the Firm's Trust and Estate Litigation practice.

Mike has extensive experience handling probate and trust litigation for bot...

Mike Bartolacci
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6420

Liz represents consumer product manufacturers in high-stakes product liability and false advertising litigation in state and federal courts across the country.

Liz represents consumer product manufacturers in high-stakes product liabil...

Liz Blackwell
Partner
Los Angeles
310 282 9418

As a real estate litigator with more than 30 years of experience, Jeff develops and executes highly effective litigation strategies for clients with all types of commerci...

As a real estate litigator with more than 30 years of experience, Jeff deve...

Jeff Brown
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6552

Matt serves as co-chair of our insurance practice group, guiding policyholders, insurers, and insurance professionals on everything from policy placement through the liti...

Matt serves as co-chair of our insurance practice group, guiding policyhold...

Matt Darrough
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6908

Warren focuses on federal regulation of business, both domestic and international, and represents several of the nation's largest transportation and energy interests befo...

Warren focuses on federal regulation of business, both domestic and interna...

Warren Dean, Jr.
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6142

David is a lead trial lawyer with a track record of success across a diverse array of claims, including various types of construction and real estate disputes, business t...

David is a lead trial lawyer with a track record of success across a divers...

David Dick
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6145

Jeff helps all types of businesses navigate complex litigation, arbitration, class action, and regulatory matters in venues across the country.

Jeff helps all types of businesses navigate complex litigation, arbitration...

Jeff Fink
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6039

Larry has extensive experience in cases involving shareholder rights, business valuations, fiduciary duty claims, and other contract and business disputes.

Larry has extensive experience in cases involving shareholder rights, busin...

Larry Friedman
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6415

Amanda is a litigator and a highly experienced litigation trial team leader for Fortune 500 companies facing class actions and complex business disputes.

Amanda is a litigator and a highly experienced litigation trial team leader...

Amanda Hettinger
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6159

Chris leads complex litigation and class action defense for a host of major corporations in the financial services and agriculture industries.

Chris leads complex litigation and class action defense for a host of major...

Chris Hohn
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6064

Kent has spent much of his career representing financial services clients of the firm, particularly securities brokers and dealers, investment advisors, investment compan...

Kent has spent much of his career representing financial services clients o...

Kent Knickmeyer
Associate
St. Louis
314 552 6267

Alicia represents clients in complex business disputes at the trial and appellate level.

Alicia represents clients in complex business disputes at the trial and app...

Alicia Konstantinovich
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6922

Katie advises public transit agencies around the country on issues involving third-party procurement, Section 13(c) labor protection, Buy America compliance, and adherenc...

Katie advises public transit agencies around the country on issues involvin...

Katie Kraft
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6541

Matt practices in the areas of state and local tax (SALT) controversy, banking and financial services litigation, business litigation, and appellate.

Matt practices in the areas of state and local tax (SALT) controversy, bank...

Matt Landwehr
Counsel
St. Louis
314 552 6132

Trey has represented clients before state and federal courts in a wide variety of products liability, class action, business litigation and land-rights litigation matters...

Trey has represented clients before state and federal courts in a wide vari...

Trey Lawrence
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6942

Harvey has 30 years of experience as a civil litigator and commercial lawyer, representing banks and other public lenders, private lenders, metropolitan transit auth...

Harvey has 30 years of experience as a civil litigator and commercial ...

Harvey Levin
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6421

Manoo serves as a strategist for high-stakes litigation, tapping his well-honed research and writing skills to craft motions and briefs that help clients navigate thorny ...

Manoo serves as a strategist for high-stakes litigation, tapping his well-h...

Manoo Mofidi
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6082

Mike litigates on behalf of banking and health care clients, and has significant class action experience.

Mike litigates on behalf of banking and health care clients, and has signif...

Mike Morris
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6470

Rick is one of the few attorneys nationwide who devotes his entire practice to the defense of employers in ERISA litigation related to pension, life, health, and disabili...

Rick is one of the few attorneys nationwide who devotes his entire practice...

Rick Pautler
Partner
Southern Illinois
618 236 3415

Kurt is experienced in the defense of personal injury and property damage litigation including FELA, trucking, product liability, class action and mass tort litigation.

Kurt is experienced in the defense of personal injury and property damage l...

Kurt Reitz
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6173

Sharon develops and executes highly effective class action defense strategies for major companies across a variety of sectors, including transportation, telecommunication...

Sharon develops and executes highly effective class action defense strategi...

Sharon Rosenberg
Partner
Chicago
312 580 2311

Dave is a practical and resourceful business litigator with a long track record of successful results.

Dave is a practical and resourceful business litigator with a long track re...

David Rownd
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6102

Bruce is co-chair of the firm's appellate practice and has participated in more than 60 appeals involving a diverse range of subjects, such as products liability, FELA, c...

Bruce is co-chair of the firm's appellate practice and has participated in ...

Bruce Ryder
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6087

Retired Judge Booker Shaw brings clients valuable insight and perspective gained from his more than 25 years on the bench.

Retired Judge Booker Shaw brings clients valuable insight and perspective g...

Booker Shaw
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6565

Steve represents corporations in large-scale business and regulatory disputes and defends individuals and corporations in criminal cases and proceedings in federal and st...

Steve represents corporations in large-scale business and regulatory disput...

Steve Sherman
Associate
St. Louis
314 552 6373

Paul represents clients in complex commercial disputes across a variety of industries.

Paul represents clients in complex commercial disputes across a variety of ...

Paul Stoehr
Senior Counsel
St. Louis
314 552 6110

Dave represents railroads and major manufacturers in environmental and occupational exposure litigation throughout the Midwest and across the country.

Dave represents railroads and major manufacturers in environmental and occu...

Dave Stratmann
Partner
Southern Illinois
618 236 3411

For nearly 20 years, Erick has defended product liability, toxic tort, and railroad injury cases in some of the most difficult jurisdictions in the country.

For nearly 20 years, Erick has defended product liability, toxic tort, and ...

Erick VanDorn
Partner
Los Angeles
310 282 9407

John serves as a one-stop resource for employment counseling and litigation for companies across the country, particularly as they relate to California operations.

John serves as a one-stop resource for employment counseling and litigation...

John Viola
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6458

Jason is a dynamic and highly effective litigator who develops and executes creative solutions to resolve product liability, personal injury, and commercial disputes in s...

Jason is a dynamic and highly effective litigator who develops and executes...

Jason Wheeler