From the moment we take on a case, our business attorneys work to shepherd clients through the entirety of the trial process from beginning to end. This may include preserving our trial victories at the appellate level or overturning an unfavorable result. When facing appeals, we draw upon decades of experience with trial work to anticipate and deflect possible arguments. We also are happy to step into a case to assist with just an appeal and welcome working with other trial counsel to identify and craft an effective approach to the appellate law issues. Our business appellate attorneys have the experience in both state and federal appellate courts that clients need.

The business appellate lawyers at Payne & Fears regularly help clients evaluate their cases and decide whether pursuing an appeal is the best option. Our responsibility to clients contemplating an appeal is to first define what they hope to achieve through appeal. If these goals are significant enough to outweigh the costs and setbacks of the appeals process, we present to them their appeal options. Our attorneys have decades of experience offering quality representation before the appellate courts. 

Appellate Law Experience

Payne & Fears attorneys have obtained many successful appellate law results. Some of our notable appellate victories include:

Phoenix Mechanical Pipeline Inc. v. Space Exploration Technologies Corp., 12 Cal.App.5th 842.

Payne & Fears obtained a victory in favor of our client, SpaceX, before the California Court of Appeal, which upheld the dismissal of certain claims by an unlicensed contractor seeking to collect on more than $1 million in supposedly unpaid invoices. The court ruled the plaintiff’s claims for contracting services were barred by California Business & Professions Code section 7031(a), which requires a party to have a license to maintain an action for contracting-related services. SpaceX prevailed, demonstrating the plaintiff did not have a license and that it was not sufficient for the plaintiff to merely allege that it had a licensed “responsible managing officer.” This published decision reinforces the strong public policy of section 7031 that contractors hold a valid license to receive compensation for their services. It also underscores that a contractor may not evade the strict licensing laws by “borrowing” a license from a licensed person.

Surrey v. True Beginnings LLC, 168 Cal.App.4th 414.

Payne & Fears’ client, a Texas-based online dating service, prevailed at the trial court and in a subsequent appeal in a dispute involving accusations of violations of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act and Unfair Competition Law. The complaint alleged that the dating service had violated these laws by offering more favorable subscription terms to women than to men. 

Fisher Tool Co. Inc. v. Gillet Outillage, 530 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir.).

Payne & Fears business appellate law attorneys obtained summary judgment for its client, a New Jersey intellectual property firm, in an action brought by a California tool distributor and its Taiwanese supplier. The complaint, which sought millions in damages, alleged that the client violated federal antitrust law, the Lanham Act, and state law when it brought a prior suit against the distributor and supplier for patent infringement. Payne & Fears had previously brought a successful motion for partial summary judgment on litigation privilege grounds, which eliminated six of nine claims. After discovery, the federal court held that the prior patent suit was supported by probable cause and protected by the Noerr-Pennington doctrine and dismissed the three remaining claims. Plaintiffs then appealed to the Ninth Circuit. After briefing and oral argument, the Ninth Circuit agreed with Payne & Fears on all points and upheld the grant of summary judgment in favor of its client.

Greystone Homes Inc. v. Midtec, Inc., 168 Cal.App.4th 1194.

Payne & Fears attorneys represented Greystone Homes in an appeal of a judgment against a product manufacturer. In a case of first impression, the court ruled a homebuilder may pursue claims for equitable indemnity against individual product manufacturers for purely economic losses where the losses would be recoverable by a homeowner under the Right to Repair Act. 

Jefferson Wells International Inc. v. American Reprographics Company, 2010 WL 190427 (unpublished).

Payne & Fears obtained an order granting summary judgment in favor of its client, American Reprographics Company, on claims brought by Jefferson Wells International Inc. After entering judgment in favor of American Reprographics Company, the trial court also awarded American Reprographics Company its attorney’s fees and costs. After Jefferson Wells appealed the judgment, Payne & Fears successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal to affirm the judgment in American Reprographics Company’s favor, including the award of attorney’s fees and costs.