Appellate Law

Appeals & Research

Cooper Levenson was, to our knowledge, the first law firm in New Jersey with a department devoted to research and appeals. This specialization offers every client several advantages:

Appellate-specific experience -- Department chairman and firm partner Gerard W. Quinn is a veteran of 30 years in this area of the law. One of his two associates has over 30 years of experience in litigating transactions, and appellate work. The second associate is a Judge Advocate (USMCR), with extensive experience in military law and practice, as well as civil law.

Cost effectiveness -- With a speed, perception, and precision honed by thousands of cases, attorneys in this department sort through the most arcane complexities to prepare briefs and set strategies. In many instances, by narrowing the focus and redefining the issues, they are able to extract our clients from a case either on an outright or summary judgment basis.

Class-action protection -- As this form of litigation has become more common and complex, we have become more expert in thwarting it. Through effective early intervention strategies, we can often prevent class-action certification, thereby avoiding costly and cumbersome litigation.

Comprehensive research -- A 10,000-volume law library, a data bank of accumulated research, advanced computer-assisted legal research facilities, and access to the Internet provide our attorneys and clients with inestimable support.

-- This department regularly practices before state and federal appellate courts, including the NJ Appellate Division, the NJ Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the US Supreme Court.

A sampler of some of our recent cases would include ...

  • The "high-roller" who lost over $2 million dollars at a casino and tried to implicate our client by saying they continued to serve him alcohol, knowing he was drunk. This precedent-setting case was thrown out by the US District Court, a ruling that was affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
  • The plaintiff who dove off a county-owned bridge, became a quadriplegic as a result, then sued because the bridge represented a "diving-off hazard" (only in America!). We won an important victory in the NJ Supreme Court (who saw it more accurately as a misuse of public property!)
  • An electrical switching gear manufacturer who was sued for more than $1 million. The plaintiff contended that a product defect had caused him to be badly electrified with severe internal damage and disfigurement. By identifying the equipment as "an improvement to real property," we won the case on summary judgment under the Statue of Repose. The Appellate Court agreed -- and in setting this precedent, protected the manufacturer from countless suits of a similar nature!

We believe our Research and Appeals Department offers a critical competitive edge in an increasingly-threatening environment.

Practice Area Attorneys

Quinn, Gerard W. - Practice Group Chair
Drucks, Howard E. - Of Counsel
LaCon, Walter J. - Associate