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Appellate and Trial Support

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt’s appellate practice and trial support group includes lawyers who have briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, nearly every U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and in the state courts of more than 30 states. Many lawyers in the group devote their practice exclusively to appellate work and handle appeals in cases tried by other firms, as well as our firm’s trial lawyers.

  • Extensive Appellate Practice – Carlton Fields Jorden Burt handles the entire gamut of appellate matters, including civil, administrative, and criminal appeals for a wide range of businesses and individuals. We have been entrusted with bet-the-company appeals, as well as appeals on substantive issues important to the client or industry. We often submit amicus briefs as well. 
  • Pre-Trial Through Post-Judgment Trial Support – Our appellate practice goes beyond traditional appellate court work. We team with trial counsel (whether from our firm or another) to provide trial support, including preparing and arguing dispositive legal motions. Our appellate lawyers also participate in trials to help preserve the record for appeal. 
  • Nuanced Understanding and Sound Strategies – Through our extensive experience before appellate courts, we have developed a command of procedural rules and requirements, and appellate strategies and techniques that allow us to avoid practice traps on appeal. We watch trends and changes in the law, and write and speak on them regularly. 
  • Recognized Distinction – We receive frequent accolades for practice area excellence, and, most recently, earned a top-tier ranking for appellate practice in Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” 2016. Our appellate lawyers are often recognized in Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review ratings. 
  • Our People – Our group includes former law clerks from numerous federal and state appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court. The group also includes a former judge of Florida’s First District Court of Appeal, a former Solicitor General of Florida, a former supervisor of the Appellate Division for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and three fellows of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, an invitation-only national organization. Our group includes the greatest number of attorneys board certified in appellate law of any firm in Florida.

Representative Matters

  • AHF-Bay Fund, LLC v. City of Largo, Florida, Case No. 2D14-408 (Fla. 2nd DCA April 22, 2015).  Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the City of Largo based on a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement. The Court ruled that the payments called for by the PILOT agreement and sought to be enforced by the City against a not-for-profit, tax-exempt entity are the equivalent of ad valorem taxes that would otherwise be due but for the statutory tax exemption and, as a result, the City’s PILOT agreement violates article VII, § 9(a) of the Florida Constitution (providing that municipalities shall impose taxes only as authorized by law) and the public policy of promoting affordable housing.  The Court ruled that the PILOT agreement is therefore void. Read Opinion.
  • Am. Bus.USA Corp. v. Dep’t of Rev., Case No. 4D13-1472, --- So. 3d ----, 2014 WL 5834619 (Fla. 4th DCA Nov. 12, 2014). The Fourth District Court of Appeal struck down a tax assessed by the Florida Department of Revenue as a violation of the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. The Florida Department of Revenue collected sales tax from a Florida florist for orders placed by out-of-state customers. These orders were relayed to out-of-state florists, and these out-of-state florists would actually fill the orders and deliver the flowers. Despite an administrative regulation directly on point, the Fourth District overturned the tax and determined that Florida had no “substantial nexus” to such transactions. Because the flowers never entered Florida and did not have any type of connection to Florida, the State of Florida could not constitutionally tax these transactions. The Fourth District also upheld a tax assessed on calling-card sales based on a record-keeping issue.
  • McDaniel v. Fifth Third Bank, No. 14-11615, --- F. App’x ----, 2014 WL 2525192 (11th Cir. June 5, 2014).  The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an order remanding a putative class action to Florida state court. The district court ruled that certain of the claims asserted were legally insufficient and, thus, the damages claimed thereunder did not satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), Pub. L. No. 109–2119, Stat. 4. The Eleventh Circuit held that when determining subject matter jurisdiction, the issue is not the plaintiff’s probable success on the merits.
  • In re Adoption of D.P.P., No. 5D13-1766, --- So. 3d ----, 2014 WL 2109130 (Fla. 5th DCA May 21, 2014). The Fifth District Court of Appeal reinstated a judgment of adoption and reversed the order that vacated that judgment of adoption on the basis that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider a petition for adoption filed by unmarried women.
  • Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. v. Dolgencorp, LLC, 746 F.3d 1008 (11th Cir. 2014). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court order that had refused to grant full injunctive relief for violations of real-property restrictive covenants running with the land.
  • General Electric Capital Corp. v. Shattuck, 132 So. 3d 908 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014). The Second District Court of Appeal reversed a $1.1 billion judgment, holding that the court erroneously added non-party entities to that judgment.
  • Bloch v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, 13-10680, --- F.3d ----, 2014 WL 351688 (11th Cir. 2014).  The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a final defense summary judgment addressing the effect of a “trial” loan modification, application of the Florida Bank Statute of Frauds, and the proof needed to maintain promissory estoppel and negligence claims.

View additional representative appellate matters