Appellate Practice

The American court system adheres to the rule of stare decisis, that is, lower level courts are bound by the rulings and policies established by higher level courts.  Consequently, practice before the appellate courts in the federal and state court systems presents a prime opportunity to affect the interpretation of statutes and judicial policy.  Recourse to the appellate courts is also necessary when a party believes an error has occurred at the trial court level. Effective representation at the appellate level is an important skill for a full service law firm.

Hess • Bower • Adams-Hess, PC has extensive experience in the practice of law at the appellate court level, in both the state and federal systems.  Our attorneys have argued cases of significance in the insurance coverage area, particularly involving coverage for employers involved in litigation with employees and filed many amicus curiae briefs in appellate courts at all levels.

Our appellate experience includes cases argued before the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, the California Courts of Appeal, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, and courts in other states.

Representative Appeals and Decisions:

  • Wong v. State Compensation Insurance Fund (1993) 16 Cal.Rptr.2d 201, 12 Cal.App.4th 686 (insurance coverage issues).
  • Lesser v. State Farm Ins. Co., 1996 WL 339854 (C.D.Cal. 1996) (insurance coverage issues).
  • Primiani v. Federal Insurance Co., 2006 U.S. Lexis 2 7403 (9th Cir. 2006) (not officially published; decision regarding Director’s and Officer’s insurers duty to defend).
  • U.S.A. Nutrasource, Inc. v. CNA Insurance Co. (N.D. Cal., 2001) 140 F. Supp. 2d 1049, (duty to defend insurance coverage issue).
  • Dart Industries v. Commercial Union Insurance Co. (2002) 28 Cal. 4th 1059 (represented amicus curiae on insurance coverage case).
  • Vandenberg v. Supreme Court (Centennial Insurance Co.) (1999) 21 Cal. 4th 815 (represented amicus curiae on insurance coverage case).
  • Tower Ins. Co. of New York v. Capurro Enterprises, Inc., et al. (2011) WL 6294485.
  • Tower Ins. Co. of New York v. Capurro Enterprises, Inc., et al. (2012) WL 1109998.
  • Gonzalez v. Fire Ins. Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220 (represented injured plaintiff under assignment of rights in action against primary and umbrella carriers for defendant)

Appellate Practice

As a full service law firm, we pride ourselves on the ability to handle all appellate matters from beginning to end and to completely resolve our client’s issues and problems.