Appellate Advocacy

One of Wyche’s greatest strengths is the ability of our lawyers to analyze complicated facts and novel questions of law, and to weave the facts and law together into a persuasive legal argument. This capacity gives us a great advantage in appellate litigation.

Our lawyers have substantial experience arguing before the United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of South Carolina. In addition, our lawyers have clerked on numerous state and appellate courts, including the South Carolina and United States Supreme Courts, and five different federal Circuit Courts. In addition to appeals in cases that we have handled from the beginning, clients, as well as other lawyers, often engage us for the sole purpose of assisting on the appeal.

Because of our experience, we understand what makes appeals different, and how to capture the court’s attention. Appeals cannot be treated as simply “the next phase” of litigation. Success on appeal requires unique strategies, skills, and approaches. The following experience demonstrates that we have these qualities:

  • We sought and obtained certiorari—and an 8–1 reversal—from the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of our client, the shareholder of a corporation that had an ERISA judgment imposed on it in an earlier federal case. The plaintiffs sought to force our client to pay the judgment for benefits owed by the company’s plan. We persuaded the Supreme Court that there is no ancillary federal jurisdiction over a suit filed to collect a federal judgment from a party other than the judgment debtor.
  • After obtaining summary judgment for a client accused of violating sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act as a result of alleged restrictions on the distributor’s right to handle competitive products, we persuaded the Fourth Circuit to sustain that judgment on appeal.
  • We obtained an important appellate decision from the Fourth Circuit on the public forum doctrine. The Fourth Circuit affirmed an order Wyche obtained from the district court, ruling that an airport was required, on First Amendment grounds, to allow the placement of newspaper vending machines in the airport.
  • We were victorious in a significant ruling by the South Carolina Court of Appeals on the status of employee handbooks as employment contracts. We persuaded the court that the handbook of an equipment distributor was not a contract that could support a cause of action.