Cleary Gottlieb’s appellate litigation experience flows from our full-service litigation group, which is positioned to handle every aspect of a litigation matter from the inception of a potential dispute through trial, final judgment, and appeal.

We frequently handle appeals from matters in which we have represented parties at the trial-court level, as well as in cases where we first join at the appellate stage.

Recognized as one of the top litigation groups in the world, we help governments, corporations, financial institutions, and individuals in complex cases that require novel solutions and cross-border coordination of the firm’s varied resources. Cleary lawyers have significant experience in litigating appellate matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeals, and state appellate courts across the nation. We also regularly file amicus curiae briefs on behalf of our clients in influential cases that impact key industries and pro bono initiatives. Our litigation team includes dozens of attorneys with appellate clerkship experience, including former clerks for the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals.

Consistent with our integrated one-firm approach, we are able to bring to bear our renowned corporate, regulatory, financial, and cross-border experience in every appeal.

Notable Experiences

U.S. Supreme Court Highlights

  • California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, Inc., obtained a landmark ruling, affirming our earlier victory at the Second Circuit, holding that class-action tolling does not apply to the statutes of repose in the federal securities laws.

  • Gabelli v. SEC, secured a unanimous victory for petitioner in a decision holding that the limitations period for civil-penalty actions brought by the government begins to run when an alleged fraud occurs, not when it is discovered.

  • Republic of Argentina v. NML Capital, Ltd., represented the petitioner in an appeal addressing whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act immunizes a foreign-sovereign judgment debtor from post-judgment discovery of information concerning its extraterritorial assets.

  • BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina, represented the respondent in an appeal concerning whether, in a multi-staged dispute resolution process, arbitrators, rather than courts, should primarily determine if a precondition to arbitration has been satisfied.

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Circuit Court Highlights

  • In re: Petrobras Securities, obtained a significant ruling from the Second Circuit concerning the extraterritorial application of the federal securities laws, holding that district courts must consider whether individualized questions concerning the location of class members’ transactions predominate over common questions in class actions involving securities that do not trade on domestic exchanges.

  • Trustees of the Upstate New York Engineers Pension Fund v. Ivy Asset Management, obtained a ruling by the Second Circuit affirming the dismissal of claims under ERISA by a former “net winner” Madoff investor.

  • Leibovitch v. Islamic Republic of Iran, secured a ruling by the Seventh Circuit affirming an order quashing federal subpoenas and Illinois citations seeking worldwide discovery and restraint of any and all Iranian assets held by BNP Paribas.

  • In re: Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., obtained a decision by the Second Circuit affirming the dismissal of claims asserting that Barclays had improperly acquired securities pledged by FirstBank Puerto Rico to a Lehman Brothers entity.

  • In re: SemCrude, L.P., secured the affirmance by the Third Circuit of a bankruptcy court’s dismissal of hundreds of oil producers’ claims against J. Aron & Company (the commodities trading arm of Goldman Sachs).

  • In re: Vehicle Carrier Services Antitrust Litigation, victory for Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. and all defendants, securing dismissal with prejudice of antitrust class actions brought by direct purchasers of ocean vehicle carrier services. The Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims for damages as barred by the Shipping Act of 1984—the key argument that Cleary developed and advanced in the District Court case.

  • Eisai Inc. v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC et al., successfully defended summary judgment win on appeal to the Third Circuit in a multibillion-dollar precedent-setting monopolization lawsuit brought by Eisai, a competitor, challenging Sanofi US’s loyalty discounts on Lovenox.

  • Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., Third Circuit victory over Qualcomm in first of its kind monopolization suit upholding application of antitrust principles to failure to license standard essential patents on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.

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U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief Highlights

  • Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, submitted a brief on behalf of several former SEC commissioners arguing that state courts lack jurisdiction over class actions asserting Securities Act claims.

  • Leidos, Inc. v. Indiana Public Retirement System, prepared a brief on behalf of the Society for Corporate Governance in a case concerning whether the Exchange Act imposes liability for alleged omissions of information required to be disclosed by SEC regulation.

  • Kokesh v. SEC, submitted a brief on behalf of the American Investment Council in a case presenting the question of whether the limitations period for civil-penalty actions applies to claims for disgorgement in an enforcement action brought by the SEC.

  • Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, authored a brief on behalf of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority in a case concerning whether the Bankruptcy Code preempts the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act.

  • Whirlpool v. Glazer, submitted a brief on behalf of Tech America and Technet arguing that the Supreme Court should review the question of whether Rule 23 permits the certification of “no injury” consumer class action lawsuits.

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Pro Bono U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief Highlights

  • Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC, filed a brief with Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and 33 other organizations in the case holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1984 protects transgender people from employment discrimination.

  • Obergefell v. Hodges, prepared a brief on behalf of the American Sociological Association in the case holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.

  • Hernández v. Mesa, submitted a brief on behalf of a group of Mexican judges, scholars, and practitioners in a case addressing the availability of a Bivens claim to Mexican nationals against a U.S. Border Patrol agent who, while on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexican border, shot and killed their 15-year-old son, who was on the Mexican side of the border.

  • Sessions v. Morales-Santana, authored a brief on behalf of scholars on statelessness and related issues in a case concerning whether Congress’s decision to impose a different physical-presence requirement on unwed citizen mothers of foreign-born children violates equal protection.

  • Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar, submitted a brief on behalf of state and local judicial reform groups in a case holding that a rule prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign funds does not violate the First Amendment and serves Florida’s compelling interest in preserving public confidence in the integrity of its judiciary.

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