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Appellate & Supreme Court

Bringing sophisticated legal strategy to complex cases, Arnold & Porterˈs Appellate & Supreme Court group is well known for aggressively and successfully handling precedent-setting appeals. Our attorneys have won numerous landmark Supreme Court cases, most recently involving religious freedom, state sovereignty, and tax fairness. We have also led high-stakes litigation in federal and state courts across the country, securing reversals of multimillion-dollar and multibillion-dollar verdicts and precedent-setting victories that reshaped the legal landscape. Our appellate experience spans the broad range of your business issues, including antitrust, commercial, criminal, environmental, intellectual property, product liability, and securities law.

  • Powerful Bench: Our team includes numerous former law clerks of the Supreme Court and courts of appeals; former Assistants to the U.S. Solicitor General; former Justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; and specialists in appellate law certified by the State Bar of California.

  • Teaming With Renowned Practices: Our appellate advocates coordinate closely with our nationally recognized attorneys in substantive areas of law to craft the most compelling arguments for our clients.

Recognized nine times on The National Law Journal 's "Appellate Hot List"
BTI Consulting Group
Most Feared in Litigation (2023)
"They have it all: trial skills, case management, and expertise in handling experts and consultants.”
Chambers USA, Client
"They're exceptionally talented lawyers that are able to provide clear guidance in difficult subject matters."
Chambers USA, Market Commentator

Experience Highlights

  • In one of the most high-profile cases of the Supreme Court's term, Arnold & Porter successfully challenged the Trump Administration's attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Decennial Census. Department of Commerce v. New York, 139 S. Ct. 2551 (2019).
  • BNSF Railway in obtaining reversal by the Supreme Court in a key case for the industry regarding payroll taxes for railroad employees. BNSF Railway Co. v. Loos, 139 S. Ct. 893 (2019).
  • Three nonprofit religious hospital systems in obtaining a unanimous Supreme Court ruling exempting their pensions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The Court overruled contrary decisions by three courts of appeals. Church plan litigation, 137 S. Ct. 1652 (2017).
  • GlaxoSmithKline in obtaining complete reversal of a multimillion dollar trial verdict in a case involving the drug label for Paxil, persuading the Seventh Circuit that federal law preempted state-law claims. Dolin v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, 901 F.3d 803 (7th Cir. 2018).
  • Obtained a major victory with national political implications, persuading the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to strike down the state's congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. League of Women Voters of Pa. v. Commonwealth, 178 A.3d 737 (Pa. 2018).
  • Mexican industrialist Miguel Zaragoza Fuentes in obtaining complete reversal of a billion dollar-plus divorce decree. Fuentes v. Zaragoza, 555 S.W.3d 141 (Texas Ct. App. 2018).
  • Boston Scientific in securing a significant Federal Circuit decision clearing the client of more than $200 million in royalties after a 12-year patent contract dispute. Jang v. Boston Scientific, 872 F.3d 1275 (Fed. Cir. 2017).
  • Leading immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir in securing a high-profile free speech and immigrant rights victory against the government. Ragbir v. Homan, 923 F.3d 53 (2d Cir. 2019).
  • Novartis in securing a unanimous First Circuit affirmance of a dismissal of purported direct and indirect purchaser antitrust class actions. United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Employers Midwest Health Benefits Fund v. Novartis Pharms. Corp., 902 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2018).
  • Carnival Corporation, as lead counsel for the defendants, in securing dismissal of all US claims and appeals across the country arising from the widely publicized January 2010 shipwreck involving the Costa Crociere cruise ship Costa Concordia.
Language - English

Focus Areas

Key Contacts

John P. Elwood
John P. Elwood
Washington, D.C.
+1 202.942.5992
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Related Services


  • Chambers USA
    Appellate Law – Nationwide (2023)
    Litigation: Appellate – California (2023)
  • The National Law Journal
    "Appellate Hot List" (2023), recognized for the 9th year.
  • Law360
    "Practice Group of the Year" (2023)
    "Firms That Dominated the Federal Circuit"
    Litigation Powerhouse
  • BTI Consulting Group
    Most Feared in Litigation (2023)
  • U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers
    "Best Law Firms" for Appellate Practice – Colorado, Washington, D.C., National, New Jersey, San Francisco (2024)
    "Best Law Firms" for Bet-the-Company Litigation – Chicago, Colorado, San Francisco (2024)
    "Best Law Firms" for Litigation - Insurance – Colorado (2023)
  • The Legal 500 US
    Appellate: Courts of Appeals (2023)
    Appellate: Supreme Courts (states and federal) (2023)
  • LMG Life Sciences
    Impact Case of the Year: Hologic v. Minerva (U.S. Supreme Ct. 2021)
  • Washingtonian Magazine
    "Top Lawyers" Supreme Court (2022)
  • Financial Times Innovative Lawyers
    “Standout” Innovative Lawyers in the Supreme Court (2023)