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Appellate Litigation

Wargo French Singer attorneys routinely litigate appellate matters in state and federal courts across the nation, and on numerous occasions succeeded in significantly changing the law in favor of our clients’ interests.

While a portion of our appellate work is generated from cases which our attorneys litigated from their inception in the trial court, our attorneys also serve as dedicated appellate counsel to clients in various different industries. In fact, WFS is often called upon to step in for a previous firm or firms immediately upon the filing of an appeal to resolve any complex questions of law that might be implicated thereby.

The following examples ARE INDICATIVE OF THE TYPES OF appellate Matters WE’VE HANDLED:
  • Served as part of team representing Fortune 500 content streaming service against claims brought by county governments for violation of state television franchise fee statutes, prevailing before Georgia Court of Appeals on grounds that statutes did not apply to non-cable or network television services. Gwinnett Cnty. v. Netflix, Inc., 367 Ga. App. 138 (2023).
  • In case of first impression regarding scope of District of Columbia anti-SLAPP statute, obtained ruling reversing dismissal of client’s complaint and a first-in-jurisdiction holding that an issue does not become one of “public interest” merely because it is under consideration by a court or other public tribunal, despite contrary holdings by other state courts of last resort. Close It! Title Svcs., Inc. v. Nadel, 248 A.3d 132 (D.C. 2021).
  • Represented senior lienholder against junior lienholder’s claims for quiet title and lien subordination based on allegations that client should have disclosed known third-party fraud in the chain of title. Successfully prevailed on argument that client held junior lienholder no duty of disclosure as a matter of law by locating and building on line of rarely-cited cases from the 19th century. WFG Nat’l Title Ins. Co. v. Wells Fargo, 51 Cal. App. 5th 881 (2020).
  • On rehearing from negative opinion from Texas Court of Appeals concerning trial court’s personal jurisdiction over opposing party, successfully obtained dissenting opinion from panel and thereafter filed successful petition for review with Texas Supreme Court, prior to case being abated. TMX Fin. Holdings, Inc. v. Wellshire, 515 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. App. 2016).
  • In case of first impression, represented subordinate lienholder on appeal from order distributing surplus proceeds following foreclosure of real property. Presented primary and alternative arguments as to date from which deadline to file claim to surplus proceeds should run, prevailed before appellate court on alternative argument, and successfully opposed motions for rehearing and rehearing en banc. Later, Florida Supreme Court issued opinion adopting primary argument, further validating timeliness of client’s claim. Straub v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 182 So. 3d 878 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016); Bank of New York Mellon v. Glenville, 252 So.3d 1120 (Fla. 2018).
  • Upon certification of question of great public importance to Georgia Supreme Court regarding whether holder of security deed in real property was required to also hold underlying debt to foreclose upon security interest, obtained a ruling in favor of multinational financial institution, allowing client to engage in non-judicial foreclosure proceedings on behalf of third-party debt holders without undergoing potentially massive task of re-assigning security deeds on hundreds of thousands of properties. See You v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, 743 S.E. 2d 428 (Ga. 2013).
  • Upon certification of question of great public importance to Florida Supreme Court regarding standard applicable to motion to vacate judicial sale conducted in error, obtained a ruling clarifying the standard in face of inconsistent lower court application, in favor of multinational financial institution, and allowed the client to argue for vacation of sale based on equities of each case rather than adhere to strict standard requiring evidence of gross inadequacy of sale price. See Arsali v. Chase Home Fin. LLC, 121 So. 3d 511 (Fla. 2013).
  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment on behalf of national cable operator in wage-and-hour employment dispute, where former employee of client claimed that client had an affirmative duty to ensure that employees actually took scheduled meal and rest breaks; ruling in client’s favor constituted Ninth Circuit’s first explicit affirmation of California Supreme Court’s landmark decision in favor of employers in Brinker v. Superior Court, 53 Cal. 4th 1004 (Cal. 2012). See Deleon v. Time Warner N.Y. Cable LLC, 510 F. App’x 545 (9th Cir. 2013).
  • In case of first impression, after client multinational financial institution was stripped of property lien due to untimely filing of motion by trial counsel, associated into case for purposes of appeal and obtained reversal of judgment on ground that court had failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether trial counsel’s private postage-meter mark was sufficient to rebut presumption of correctness afforded certificate of service. See JPMorgan Chase Bank, Nat. Ass’n v. Bigley, 120 So. 3d 1265 (Fla. Ct. App. 2013).
  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment on behalf of multinational financial institution in employment dispute, where former employee claimed he had been terminated for refusing to take a polygraph test in violation of federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (“EPPA”); ruling in client’s favor constituted Eleventh Circuit’s first published opinion interpreting the “ongoing investigation” exemption to the EPPA. See Cummings v. Washington Mut., 650 F. 3d 1386 (11th Cir. 2011).
  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment on behalf of major regional utility provider in employment dispute, where former employee claimed he was unlawfully retaliated against after filing an age discrimination claim against client, yet evidence demonstrated no causal connection between discrimination claim and employee’s termination, and termination was based on legitimate, nondiscriminatory factors. See Gladysiewski v. Allegheny Energy, 398 F. App’x 721 (3d Cir. 2010).
  • In case of first impression, obtained complete affirmance of dismissal of lawsuit alleging that client national cable operator fraudulently overcharged customers for network upgrades to cable systems; ruling in client’s favor constituted first decision anywhere in the country to hold that “filed-rate” doctrine applies to regulated rates for cable television service. See Crumley v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 556 F. 3d 879 (8th Cir. 2009).
  • Obtained affirmance of directed verdict and reduction of judgment to $0 against client internet service provider, where plaintiff sought over $10 million in damages, on ground that plaintiff did not become party to contract with client simply by purchasing all shares of corporation with whom client had originally contracted, and therefore plaintiff could not hold client liable for breach of contract or conversion of corporate property. See, Inc. v. Interland, Inc., 274 F. App’x 776 (11th Cir. 2008).
  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment on behalf of multinational office equipment and supply manufacturer in litigation brought by client’s utility supplier, seeking millions of dollars’ worth of damages in dispute over client’s obligation to pay for utilities received but improperly billed by supplier. See City of Lawrenceville v. Ricoh Electronics, Inc., 174 F. App’x 491 (11th Cir. 2006).
  • While representing national publisher of legal reference materials, established “fraud or bad faith” standard for award of attorneys’ fees under federal Lanham Act; ruling constituted first explicit determination of issue by Eleventh Circuit. See Lipscher v. LRP Publications, Inc., 266 F.3d 1305 (11th Cir. 2001).
  • Obtained affirmance of preliminary injunction in favor of trade show organizer and promoter, defeating county’s attempt to prevent client from conducting gun shows on leased county lands on ground that county’s proposed lease addendum would violate client’s right to engage in protected commercial speech under First Amendment. See Nordyke v. Santa Clara Cnty., 110 F.3d 707 (9th Cir. 1997).
  • While representing television producer, established “public function” approach for evaluating whether records of a private entity are subject to Georgia version of “open records” or “freedom of information” acts common to each state; ruling constituted first explicit determination of issue by Georgia Court of Appeal. See Hackworth v. Bd. of Educ. for City of Atlanta, 447 S.E. 2d 78 (Ga. Ct. App. 1994).