The proliferation of rules of practice and procedure among the federal circuits and in the state courts, the complexity of cases, the value of a fresh perspective, and the advantage gained by familiarity with the courts in which one works all argue in favor of appellate practitioners.
The Hunton & Williams LLP Appellate Practice Group is led by a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia and includes former law clerks from the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals, and State Supreme Courts, former appellate litigators from the Justice Department, as well as others who through years of experience have become well acquainted with the unique nature of appellate practice.
We are fully acquainted with and are frequent advocates in the appellate courts in the places where we reside. The firm's domestic offices are located in New York (the Second Circuit); Washington, D.C. (the D.C. Circuit); McLean, Richmond, and Norfolk, Virginia; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina (the Fourth Circuit); Atlanta, Georgia and Miami, Florida (the Eleventh Circuit); and Los Angeles and San Francisco, California (the Ninth Circuit). Beyond that, our appellate practice follows the needs of our clients and has taken us to every circuit in the country and to the Supreme Court of the United States.
With the increasing complexity of litigation, the proliferation of local rules of practice and procedure in the various appellate courts, and the ever more evident need for efficient delivery of legal services in all phases of litigation, Hunton & Williams saw the need to handle in a more systematic way its vast resources in the area of appellate practice. In 1989, a former partner of the firm, John Charles Thomas, who had left almost seven years earlier to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, returned to the firm and agreed to serve as chief of the firm's Appellate Practice Group.
Former Justice Thomas has taught ABA and other accredited seminars on appellate advocacy, read thousands of appellate briefs, heard hundreds of appellate arguments, written hundreds of opinions and briefs, and personally made a multitude of appellate arguments. He brings a difficult-to-duplicate perspective from the "other side of the bench." In addition, he served on the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the group that is responsible for drafting and amending FRAP. Other members of the Appellate Practice Group are frequent participants in continuing legal education programs and law school courses on appellate practice. The Group shares the firm's commitment to pro bono work, and has frequently offered its appellate services in support of public service organizations.
The Group provides a range of services. On many occasions our work starts at the time of the verdict and extends to all post-verdict motions, filings, and the like — including the appeal. The Group serves as consultants while cases are in trial to help insure that important issues are properly preserved for appeal. The Group edits and reviews the appellate work of others including firm lawyers, outside attorneys, and corporate law departments. In addition, the Group offers practice moot court rounds in the firm's video equipped Moot Court Room.