Womble Carlyle, which has for generations had an outstanding reputation for trial litigation, has developed a prominent appellate litigation practice. The Appellate Practice Group is chaired by the former Chief Justice of North Carolina's Supreme Court, Burley B. Mitchell, Jr. During two decades on the bench, first on the North Carolina Court of Appeals and then on the Supreme Court, Mr. Mitchell authored nearly 500 judicial opinions. An accomplished appellate advocate in both the public and private sector, Mr. Mitchell has successfully handled cases before state Supreme Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Working with Mr. Mitchell are attorneys with substantial experience in appellate litigation. Many of our attorneys previously served in appellate-related positions in the public sector, including prestigious appellate clerkships on various United States Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court. Group members have served on important commissions including the National Conference of Chief Justices' Committee on Professionalism, have published in prestigious journals such as the Harvard Law Review, and have lectured at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other leading law schools.
Our appellate litigators understand the decision making process of appellate judges and have an ear for arguments that resonate with those judges. We are able to identify and frame legal issues in a creative and inspiring way that enhances the opportunity for success at the appellate level. With skilled writers and talented advocates, we are adept at presenting complex fact patterns and legal issues in simple, concise, and persuasive terms. Our objective in each appeal is not only to show that we are right on the facts and the law, but also to persuade the judges that they should want to rule in favor of our client. Womble Carlyle has appeared in and has enjoyed success in a number of high-profile appellate cases.
The firm has performed appellate work for Fortune 500 clients in a broad spectrum of industries, including banking, telecommunications, automotive, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, insurance, and retail sales. In addition, we have participated in appeals by filing amicus curiae briefs on behalf of interested industries or groups that are not parties to the litigation. For example, in July 2004 we filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a significant copyright action involving one of the largest statutory damage awards in history and raising novel constitutional issues.
The Appellate Practice Group also provides strategic counsel and advice on constitutional and other complex legal issues arising outside of the traditional appellate context. For example, we counsel trial attorneys and prepare briefs in trial courts and assist trial lawyers in ensuring that legal issues are properly preserved for appeal. In addition, we help clients devise strategies for challenging burdensome governmental regulations. Members of the Group also develop constitutional and public policy arguments concerning proposed legislation, including, for example, legislation concerning civil justice reform. While providing high-quality appellate and counseling services, the Appellate Practice Group puts an emphasis on efficiency by controlling costs and expenses. Womble Carlyle works with clients to develop alternative fee arrangements, such as fixed-fee appeals and contingent-fee appeals.
The combination of effectiveness and efficiency creates tremendous value for clients of Womble Carlyle's Appellate Practice Group. For more information about this practice, please contact Burley B. Mitchell, Jr. in our Raleigh, North Carolina office at (919) 755-8166.