Appellate Law

Lipson Neilson Appellate LawLipson Neilson attorneys have handled hundreds of appeals, including matters pending before the United States Supreme Court, the Sixth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Case Summaries: Published Decisions, listed by Court, in reverse chronological order.

Caperton v AT Massey Coal Co, Inc
556 US 868, 129 S Ct 2252, 173 L Ed 2d 1208 (2009) (Amici Curiae Law Professors Ronald D Rotunda and Michael R Dimino) (finding that due process clause required recusal of West Virginia Supreme Court Justice)

Associated Builders & Contractors of Michigan v City of Lansing
499 Mich 177; 880 NW2d 765 (2016) (Amicus Curiae National Federation of Independent Business) (affirming Court of Appeals decision upholding constitutionality of local ordinance)

Tyra v Organ Procurement Agency of Michigan
498 Mich 68; 869 NW2d 213 (2015) (reversing Court of Appeals and reinstating trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client on statute of limitations grounds because plaintiff failed to follow notice of intent requirements after clarifying interaction between MCL 600.1901, 600.2301 and 600.2912b)

In re Certified Question from Fourteenth Dist Court of Appeals of Texas
479 Mich 498; 740 NW2d 206 (2007) (Amicus Curiae Pacific Legal Foundation) (restating factors for determining if a defendant owes a legal duty sounding in negligence to a plaintiff and applying these factors to determine that legal duty was not owed)

Nemeth v Abonmarche Development, Inc
457 Mich 16; 576 NW2d 641 (2000) (Amicus Curiae Michigan Environmental Council) (determining inter alia that Michigan Environmental Protection Act did not authorize attorney fees to be awarded as litigation costs)

Brott v United States
858 F3d 425 (6th Cir 2017) (Amici Curiae National Federation of Independent Business, Cato Institute and Southeastern Legal Foundation) (rejecting claim that property owners were entitled to jury trial in an Article III court because Congress permitted to bestow exclusive subject matter jurisdiction over takings claims seeking more than $10,000 in the Court of Federal Claims)

Bridging Communities Inc v Top Flite Financial Incorporated
843 F3d 1119 (6th Cir 2016) (reversing district court decision to deny class action certification) (petition for writ of certiorari currently pending)

Bill and Dena Brown Trust v Garcia
312 Mich App 684; 880 NW2d 269 (2015) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition on undue influence claim and interpreting trust instrument)

Ruby Associates v Shore Financial
276 Mich App 110; 741 NW2d 72 (2007),
vacated in part, affirmed in part, 480 Mich 1107, 745 NW2d 752 (2008) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client in quiet title action)

Special Properties v Woodruff
273 Mich App 586; 730 NW2d 753 (2007) (reversing trial court decision granting summary disposition to plaintiff and remanding for entry of judgment in favor of defendant on quiet title action)

Oesterle v Wallace
272 Mich App 260; 725 NW2d 470 (2006) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition for client and defining scope of litigation privilege)

Karam v Law Offices of Ralph J Kliber
253 Mich App 410; 655 NW2d 614 (2002) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client and defining limited scope of duties that attorneys owe to non-clients when preparing testamentary documents)

Watts v Polaczyk
242 Mich App 600; 619 NW2d 714 (2000) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client and determining that arbitration clauses in attorney retainer agreements are enforceable)

Kernen v Homestead Development Co
232 Mich App 503; 591 NW2d 369 (1998) (affirming trial court denying requested injunctive relief in trespass action)

Case Summaries: Unpublished Decisions, listed alphabetically.

AAA Mortgage Corp v Legghio
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 239016 (October 28, 2003) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition to clients on claims of equitable subrogation, indemnification and contribution)

ABN AMRO Mortgage Group v Household Mortgage
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket Nos 265518, 266274 (August 8, 2006) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition to client on equitable subrogation and slander of title claims)

Ambrose v Fried
Michigan Court of Appeal Docket No 249482 (November 30, 2004) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition to client because statute of limitations barred legal malpractice claim)

Arndell v Robison
589 Fed Appx 844 (9th Cir 2015) (affirming dismissal of legal malpractice claim against clients because claims barred by statute of limitations)

Berman v Ribitwer
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 246870 (August 17, 2004) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client on legal malpractice action arising out of divorce action)

Boladian v Thennisch
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 324737 (April 12, 2016) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client on abuse of process and malicious prosecution claims)

Chalfin v Jerkins
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 274168 (March 25, 2008) (affirming decision by trial court to award sanctions against plaintiff’s counsel and in favor of client under MCR 2.114 and MCL 600.2591)

Craig v Silverman
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 265155 (April 21, 2006) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client on legal malpractice action arising out of medical malpractice case)

Dalmayer v White
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 251545 (March 10, 2005) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition to client in legal malpractice claim arising out of defense of criminal case)

Detroit School District v URS Corporation
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 267715 (July 27, 2006) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition on third-party complaint for indemnification and unjust enrichment)

Fonstad v Teal
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 254051 (July 21, 2005) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition to client on claims of fraudulent misrepresentation, innocent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotion distress and concert of action)

Giordano v Markovitz
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 232793 (June 17, 2003)(affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition to client on claim for accounting arising out of business dispute)

Harkey v Charter Township of Bloomfield
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 228287 (June 14, 2002) (affirming lower court decision to deny appeal from decision by township board)

Hunters Square Office Bldg, LLC v Paragon Underwriters, Inc
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 235115 (May 20, 2003) (affirming trial court decision to grant judgment in favor of client in dispute arising out of notice provisions of commercial lease agreement)

Kemp v Boat Sales, Inc
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 217863 (February 23, 2001) (affirming decision to deny motion to set aside default judgment)

Kosmalski v Willard
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 247697 (September 23, 2004) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition in quiet title action)

LIAC, Inc v Founders Insurance Co
222 Fed Appx 488 (March 13, 2007) (reversing district court decision to grant summary judgment against client and remanding for trial on the merits)

Lyons v Kinsel
Court of Appeals Docket Nos 329584, 329597, 329607 (April 25, 2017) (affirming trial court decision to deny summary disposition for lack of personal jurisdiction)

Naz v Agron
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 259110 (April 21, 2006) (affirming lower court decision to grant summary disposition on claims because they were subject to agreement to arbitrate)

Obolensky v Chase
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket Nos 208963, 213577, 219774 (September 29, 2000) (affirming multiple probate court decisions in favor of client on management of trust and approval of accounts)

Opus One, Inc v Cross Wrock, PC
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 222128 (December 1, 2001) (reversing trial court decision and granting client’s motion to change venue under MCL 600.1629)

Rivet v State Farm Mut Auto Ins Co
316 Fed Appx 440 (March 12, 2009) (affirming judgment entered after jury trial)

Quilter v Brady
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket Nos 267692, 267693 (April 6, 2066) (appeal dismissed because Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction)

Ruigerio v Lubienski
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket Nos 325254, 325257 (August 30, 2016) (affirming lower court decision to transfer case from circuit court to probate court because probate court had exclusive subject matter jurisdiction)

Sexton v Sumner
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 204192 (August 24, 1999) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client on legal malpractice action arising out of claim and delivery action)

Stasson v Paragon
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 269997 (December 13, 2006) (granting motion to affirm trial court decision to grant summary disposition to client on breach of insurance contract claim)

TD Land, Co, Inc v Phillip R Seaver Title Co, Inc
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 236573 (December 21, 2002) (reversing decision granting summary disposition on legal malpractice case based upon apparent authority to enter into agreement)

Tobias v Archbold
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 241048 (December 4, 2003) (affirming trial court decision to grant summary disposition to clients on quiet title action)

Tri-County Petroleum, Inc v ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, Inc
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 262279 (November 22, 2005) (affirming decision to grant summary disposition to client on quiet title action)

Tupper v Lebeuf
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 229869 (August 6, 2002) (reversing trial court decision to grant summary disposition on statute of limitations grounds)

Worthy v World Wide Financial Services, Inc
192 Fed Appx 369 (July 28, 2006) (affirming decision to dismiss claims arising under federal Truth-in-Lending Act and Michigan’s Secondary Mortgage Loan Act against client)

Zonca v Michigan Educational Credit Union
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 261114 (July 7, 2005) (reversing lower court decision to deny client’s motion to change venue)

Zsenyuk v Estate of Mariann Zsenyuk
Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No 265080 (May 16, 2006) (affirming decision to grant summary disposition on claims that conservator of estate had committed fraud and forged signatures on deed)

Recent News

December, 2017 – C. Thomas Ludden, head of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group, recently submitted an amici curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court in Brott v. United States, Supreme Court Docket No. 17-712.

In their brief, the amici, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, the Southeastern Legal Foundation, and the Cato Institute, contend that the Seventh Amendment Guarantee of a jury trial applies in lawsuits against the United States seeking vindication of a citizen’s constitutional rights. They further argue that the United States cannot condition the right to seek relief for violation of constitutional rights upon the waiver of the right to a jury trial.

“For over 800 years, the jury trial has been one of our fundamental guarantees of liberty,” said Mr. Ludden. “The Supreme Court should agree that the Constitutional guarantee of a jury trial applies to lawsuits by American citizens seeking to recover compensation for unconstitutional takings of their property by the federal government.”

A decision on whether the United States Supreme Court will accept this case for full briefing should be made by this coming spring. If granted, the United States Supreme Court could hear oral argument as soon as October 2018. Click here to view the brief as filed on the U.S. Supreme Court website.

C. Thomas Ludden specializes in appellate law, commercial litigation, and professional liability. He was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to serve on the state’s Committee on Model Jury Instructions; the appointment is for a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2018.