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Appellate Practice

Appellate practice requires a specialized set of legal skills. At Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot, we’ve built a world-class team of appellate lawyers with superior academic and practical skills honed by years of rigorous experience. Our small but remarkably able cadre of advocates includes several former appellate law clerks and attorneys who have briefed and argued appeals and other proceedings before the following courts:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
  • Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the 9th Circuit
  • Alaska Supreme Court
  • Alaska Court of Appeals

Our appellate experience covers a wide range of substantive legal fields: civil, criminal, business and administrative, with an emphasis in constitutional law, construction litigation, commercial law, contracts, business torts, labor and employment, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) and Alaska Native law.

When Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot represents a client at trial, we also handle any related appeals. But a major segment of our practice is serving as independent appellate counsel, such as in cases where we are retained to attack or defend a trial court judgment in which we did not participate. In those cases, we’re fully capable of assuming primary responsibility for the appeal. However, we can also serve in a supporting role by reviewing the trial record; conducting moot courts to develop and refine issues; explaining practice and procedural rules; critiquing written briefs and oral arguments; evaluating post-decision questions such as petitions for rehearing, en banc review or certiorari; and more.

Reported cases include:

  • Alaska Interstate Construction, LLC v. Pacific Diversified Investments, Inc., 279 P.3d 1156 (Alaska 2012)
  • Roberson v. Southwood Manor Associates, 249 P.3d 1059 (Alaska 2011)
  • Hagland Aviation Services, Inc. v. Harms, No. 6379, 210 P.3d 444 (Alaska 2009)
  • Beal, et al. v. McGuire, et al., 216 P.3d 1154 (Alaska 2009)
  • The Progressive Corp. v. Peter, 195 P.3d 1083 (Alaska 2008)
  • Guerrero ex rel. Guerrero v. Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, 123 P.3d 966 (Alaska 2005)
  • Casciola v. F.S. Air Service, Inc., 120 P.2d 1059 (Alaska 2005)
  • Laidlaw Transit, Inc. v. Anchorage School District, 118 P.3d 1018 (Alaska 2005)
  • Anderson v. State ex rel. Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Ass’n, 78 P.3d 710 (Alaska 2003)
  • Tush v. Pharr, 68 P.3d 1239 (Alaska 2003)
  • Delolli v. State, 2003 WL 22143282 (Alaska App. 2003)
  • K&K Recycling, Inc. v. Alaska Gold Co., 80 P.3d 702 (Alaska 2003)
  • Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Ass’n v. Anderson, 54 P.3d 271 (Alaska 2002)
  • Peter v. Schumacher Enterprises, 22 P.3d 481 (Alaska 2001)
  • Holderness v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 24 P.3d 1235 (Alaska 2001)
  • Lynden Inc. v. Walker, 30 P.3d 609 (Alaska 2001)
  • City of St. Mary’s v. St. Mary’s Native Corp., 9 P.3d 1002 (Alaska 2000)
  • Coster v. Piekarski, 3 P.3d 333 (Alaska 2000)
  • Peter v. The Progressive Corporation, 986 P.2d 865 (Alaska 1999)
  • State Farm Automobile Insurance Company v. Raymer, 977 P.2d 706 (Alaska 1999)
  • Neal & Co., Inc. v. Association of Village Council Presidents Regional Housing Authority, 895 P.2d 497 (Alaska 1995)


David Karl Gross
James H. Lister
Jason Brandeis