Appeals

Appeals

Our attorneys have a proven track of success in state and federal appellate courts. We have successfully prosecuted and opposed appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Washington Supreme Court, and the Washington Court of Appeals. Appellate advocacy presents unique challenges for practitioners, requiring a thorough understanding of procedural rules, the judicial deliberation process, and nuanced legal propositions.

For most litigants, review by a higher court is not sought after—you’ve either suffered a loss in the lower court, must protect a favorable result from reversal, or both. Regardless, the possibility of appeal is a critical consideration from the time a lawsuit is contemplated through entry of a judgment on a verdict. Appellate courts are generally limited to considering the evidence and arguments in the record, which must conscientiously and strategically preserved by the attorneys throughout the course of litigation. Thus, appellate experience is an important factor to weigh even when selecting trial counsel.

BCG represents its clients through all phases of litigation, including on appeal. We also provide appellate consultation and associate with other lawyers to serve solely as appellate counsel. If you have a matter for which appeal is likely, we encourage you to give contact us early.   

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Appellate Results

Prevailed before the Washington Supreme Court in a case Ockletree v. Franciscan Health Sys., 179 Wn.2d 769, 317 P.3d 1009 (2014). In a sharply divided 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court held that religious non-profit employers cannot discriminate against their employees whose jobs are unrelated to the religious mission of the employer. While the Court held that a state law exemption for religious employers is not unconstitutional in all circumstances, it determined that our client, a hospital security guard who was terminated after suffering a stroke, could continue his disability discrimination case against Franciscan Health System. Click here to view James Beck’s oral argument before the Washington State Supreme Court.

Prevailed before the Washington Supreme Court, securing a ruling rejecting a government contractor’s effort to force wage violation claims into private arbitration. A unanimous Court held that the arbitration clause in the employer’s form contract was unconscionable and unenforceable in its entirety, allowing a class action of over 300 misclassified Washington workers to proceed. Brown v. MHN Gov’t Servs., Inc., 178 Wn.2d 258, 306 P.3d 948 (2013).

Prevailed before the Washington Supreme Court, as appellate counsel for The News Tribune, in Public Records Act lawsuit to acquire access to records claimed as exempt from disclosure. Established that the records sought were not attorney–client privileged, work product, or otherwise protected. Click here to view James Beck’s oral argument before the Washington Supreme Court. Morgan v. City of Federal Way, 166 Wn.2d 747, 213 P.3d 596 (2009).

Prevailed before the Washington Supreme Court, which invalidated illegal arbitration provisions in healthcare provider contracts. Kruger Clinic Orthopaedics, LLC v. Regence BlueShield, 157 Wn.2d 290, 138 P.3d 936 (2006).

Prevailed before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against two military recruiters who allegedly forged reenlistment documents. The court held that the Feres doctrine, which generally immunizes military personnel from civil suit, did not apply. Jackson v. Tate, 648 F.3d 729 (9th Cir. 2011).

Prevailed before the Washington Court of Appeals on behalf of a newspaper that had been wrongly denied access to public records. The unanimous appellate panel dissolved a trial court injunction, finding that several large broadcasters could not shield their contracts with a municipal cable system from the public. Belo Mgmt. Servs., Inc. v. Click! Network, 184 Wn. App. 649, 343 P.3d 370 (2014).

Prevailed in a jury trial on behalf of a poker dealer who was wrongfully discharged after refusing to gamble as a condition of employment. Subsequently prevailed before Washington Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court to hold that the casino’s owner and manager could be held individually liable for forcing workers to gamble. Jumamil v. Lakeside Casino, LLC, 179 Wn. App. 665, 319 P.3d 868 (2014).

Prevailed before the Washington Court of Appeals, which reversed the dismissal of discrimination claims brought by a disabled combat veteran of Mexican-American heritage. The court held that there was sufficient evidence supporting disparate treatment and hostile work environment claims. Alonso v. Qwest Commc’ns Co., LLC, 178 Wn. App. 734, 315 P.3d 610 (2013).

Prevailed before the Washington Court of Appeals, which affirmed a trial judgment of approximately $3 million in an employment discrimination lawsuit against the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office. Broyles v. Thurston Cnty., 147 Wn. App. 409, 195 P.3d 985 (2008).

Appellate counsel on case before the Washington Court of Appeals, successfully arguing for limitation on the scope of an arbitration agreement. Nelson v. Westport Shipyard, Inc., 140 Wn. App. 102, 163 P.3d 807 (2007).

Appellate counsel on case before the Washington Court of Appeals, successfully arguing for the reversal of summary judgment dismissal of a sex discrimination lawsuit against Western State Hospital. Doe v. State, 2008 WL 929885 (2008).