Appellate Law

As an extension of our litigation practice, the Roberts & Stevens’ Appellate Law group is devoted to serving clients that we represent at the trial level. Also, a significant portion of our appellate practice includes handling appeals when we were not counsel of record in the trial court. Our experience includes representing appellants (those who disagreed with the trial court’s decision) and appellees (the party that prevailed in the trial court, but must defend that outcome on appeal).

We practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, North Carolina Appellate Courts, and the Cherokee Supreme Court. Our attorneys have represented and won cases before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in areas such as jury selection, claims against a hospital under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, and claims against police officers under Section 1983. We have also handled appeals before the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals in areas such as real property, gross negligence against a police officer, and expert witness fees.

Our appellate litigators understand the decision making process of appellate judges and possess the skills of oral advocacy that resonate with those judges. We also have the necessary attention to detail, knowledge of the Rules of Appellate Procedure, and strong research and writing skills, which enhance the opportunity for success at the appellate level. Included among our appellate litigators are two former appellate law clerks.

Appellate Case Highlights

  • Swanson-Robinson v. Hope, NO. COA11-665, 2011 N.C. App. LEXIS 2290 (N.C. App. Nov. 1, 2011) (successfully defended summary judgment for the defendant real estate broker and real estate company in a breach of fiduciary duty case where the owners sought damages in the form of attorneys’ fees associated with defending a prior third-party suit)
  • Jim Lorenz, Inc. v. O’Haire, 711 S.E.2d 820 (N.C. App. 2011) (obtained reversal of trial court judgment in excess of $500,000 against client property owners in a real estate broker’s lawsuit to recover his commission)
  • Sisk v. Transylvania Cmty. Hosp., Inc., 364 N.C. 172, 695 S.E.2d 429 (2010) (represented defendant baby formula manufacturer in negligence action and obtained favorable outcome from North Carolina Supreme Court affirming revocation of pro hac vice admissions of out of state attorneys who made ex parte contact with the manufacturer’s retained expert)
  • Woltz v. Taylor, 2010 N.C. App. LEXIS 1575 (N.C. App. Aug. 17, 2010) (obtained jury verdict enforcing terms of a land conservation easement and awarding damages in an action for trespass, protecting a 500+ acre tract abutting Shining Rock Wilderness in Western North Carolina, which was subsequently affirmed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals)
  • Holloway v. N.C. Dep’t of Crime Control & Pub. Safety/N.C. Highway Patrol, 2009 N.C. App. LEXIS 790 (N.C. App. May 19, 2009) (obtaining dismissal of plaintiffs’ gross negligence claim against our client, a North Carolina State Highway Patrol officer)
  • Atkins v. Peek, 668 S.E.2d 63 (N.C. Ct. 2008) (successfully obtaining dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims of breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, slander, and unfair and deceptive trade practices against our client, an insurer)
  • Jones v. Miles, 189 N.C. App. 289 (N.C. App. 2008) (successfully upholding summary judgment for property owners in plaintiffs’ claims of adverse possession and prescriptive easement over disputed tract of land)
  • Greene v. Hoekstra, 189 N.C. App. 179 (N.C. App. 2008) (successfully upholding award of expert fees in conjunction with a medical malpractice trial)
  • Strawbridge v. Sugar Mountain Resort, Inc., 152 Fed. Appx. 286; 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 2345 (4th Cir. 2005), cert den. 2006 U.S. LEXIS 4704 (U.S., June 19, 2006) (successfully upholding defense verdict despite challenge to jury selection process)
  • Pettyjohn v. Mission-St. Joseph’s, 21 Fed. Appx. 193; 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 23423, (4th Cir. 2001) (successfully upholding summary judgment for hospital regarding claim for violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA))
  • Baird v. County of Buncombe, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 2146. (4th Cir. 1998) (successfully upholding summary judgment in a police officer excessive force case under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983)

Memberships & Awards

  • American Bar Association, Section: Labor and Employment
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Section: Labor and Employment Law
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers and Best Law Firm Ranking