Appellate Practice

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Appellate Practice
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Vandeventer Black’s experience in appellate matters has been a long-standing aspect of our litigation strength and depth. We are often asked to handle cases on appeal in both appellate courts and administrative agencies at the state and federal levels.

Our attorneys regularly serve as appellate counsel in cases before the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia. We have handled appeals before the federal Courts of Appeal for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Federal Circuits and have appeared before the United State Supreme Court, where several of our attorneys are licensed to practice. We also frequently appear before administrative tribunals, including the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, and the Benefits Review Board. 

In Virginia, effective January 2022, legislation will implement a right of appeal in all civil and criminal matters arising out of the Circuit Courts. These appeals will initially be heard in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, which historically has only considered workers’ compensation, family law, and a limited class of other cases. Based on our history and workers’ compensation practice, we are ready to assist litigants, whether we represented the litigants at the trial level or not.

Whether pursuing an appeal or defending against one, the appellate world is complicated and it is essential for litigants to have a skilled appellate attorney to help navigate the process.  Vandeventer Black’s attorneys have experience with matters on appeal before the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, the United States Courts of Appeals, various administrative appellate tribunals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Because of our existing practice, the firm has regularly handled cases before the Court of Appeals of Virginia and is prepared to assist clients after the January 1, 2022 expansion which gives most civil litigants a right of appeal.  Not only do we handle appeals for matters on which we provided counsel at the trial level, but we also provide appellate counsel and consulting services for matters that have already been addressed at the lower court.  


We represent many different types of clients in a large variety of civil appellate matters.  Notably, we represent clients on appeal in business disputes, real estate disputes, trust and estate disputes, construction disputes, government contracting disputes, insurance matters, maritime matters, transportation law matters, workers’ compensation defense cases, and professional liability defense matters.  We also are available to provide local counsel in appellate matters and to represent non-parties who desire to participate in an appeal in an amicus capacity. 

A number of our attorneys are former judicial law clerks, including for the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia, bringing expertise unique to this growing practice area.

Virginia Has Created a New Right of Appeal for Civil and Criminal Litigants
W. Thomas Chappell, Daniel Salmon
Until this last legislative session, Virginia was the only state in the nation without a right of appeal from civil judgments and criminal convictions.  However, the most recent General Assembly session passed, and the Governor signed, perhaps the most consequential piece of legislation affecting the Virginia legal system in many ...
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Resolved, yet Unclear: Supreme Court Tightens CERCLA Contribution Claim Requirements
Joe Romero
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a party’s right to contribution claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) after entering into a settlement arises only when the settlement agreement resolves CERCLA-specific liabilities.  This decision may call into question the effect of existing settlement ...
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In Split Decision, Federal Circuit Affirms Agency Exclusion of Proposals
Daniel Salmon
In U.S. Government procurements, most solicitations specify that noncompliance with its terms and conditions may cause a proposal to be determined unacceptable or be deemed non-responsive and excluded from consideration.  However, in some cases, the agency may alter the terms and conditions through pre-award discussions.  In Safeguard Base Operations v ...
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