Appellate Advocacy

Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C., has a long history of excellence, strength and sophistication in its appellate advocacy group.  We take pride in our creativity and are known for crafting cogent and innovative arguments on behalf of our clients.

Our most senior member of the Firm, Lawrence F. Sovik, was effective in formulating and successfully arguing the "seat belt defense" before the New York State Court of Appeals in 1974 in the case of Spier v. Barker (35 N.Y.2d 444). 

Since then, the Firm's appellate advocacy group has flourished and now includes attorneys who have won appeals in each of the Appellate Divisions in New York State, the New York State Court of Appeals, as well as New York Federal District Courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Kevin Hulslander has handled several high profile appeals in highly publicized cases.  He is well known for his work in the construction and Labor Law context.

Anthony Brighton joined Smith Sovik with a wealth of appellate and writing experience including working for litigation firms in Massachusetts and Ohio, as well as, serving as the judicial law clerk to Justice Anne L. Kilbane, of the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth Judicial District.  These experiences provide a unique and valuable insight to the appellate process that is particularly beneficial to our Firm's clients. 

Our Firm tackles appellate work at all stages of litigation and our lawyers have the skills and resources necessary to handle the appellate phase of any case.  Our lawyers understand that excellence in appellate advocacy demands a unique group of oral and written skills.  Success in the appellate area requires insightful analysis, persuasive writing, meticulous research, and effective, strong, creative oral advocacy. 

While trial attorneys generally seek to persuade juries, appellate attorneys must persuade panels of judges.  The key to our Firm's record of appellate success is based on our attorneys' ability to condense a case – which may have developed over years of litigation – into a concise argument and written brief.  A thoroughly researched, insightfully analyzed, and well written brief has the ability to decide an issue before oral argument is even held.  Likewise, our experienced attorneys take pride as oral advocates and appreciate that powerful oral argument is often the key to appellate success. 

At Smith Sovik, our appellate advocacy group leverages the legal knowledge, practical insight, and extensive in-court experience of its attorneys to meet the needs and legal objectives of its clients.  We have successfully advocated on behalf of our clients and are often in the forefront of appellate advocacy on a wide range of issues, including Labor Law and construction, trucking and motor vehicle cases, medical and professional malpractice, products liability, municipal issues, as well as a host of other matters. 

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