Appellate Law Practice

The Appellate attorneys at Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod Waterfall represent a wide variety of business, government, and individual clients before state and federal appellate courts. The skilled briefing and oral advocacy of our firm’s appeals lawyers have shaped the development of Arizona and New Mexico appellate law. More than 860 published opinions, dating back more than 100 years, have resulted from appeals handled by JHKM lawyers.

Services Provided by our Appellate Practice

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Our attorneys are frequently called upon by businesses facing Appellate Law matters in Arizona and New Mexico. We work with our clients proactively and in response to Appellate Law related legal matters, include the following:

  • Post-trial motion work to ensure relevant issues and documents are included in the official record of the trial court, including motions for new trial and motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict
  • Assistance with trial proceedings, for cases likely to result in an appeal, in areas such as preservation, jury instructions, and substantive motion practice to posture the case ideally for appeal
  • Representation in administrative appeals litigated in district courts
  • Case assessments and appeals evaluations, including recommendations on whether to appeal particular issues
  • Full-service appellate work, handling the entire appellate case or serving as co-counsel with the attorneys who appeared before the trial court
  • Special actions and interlocutory appeals, involving requests for appellate relief prior to the conclusion of trial court proceedings
  • Extraordinary writ proceedings in appellate courts
  • Petitions for review by certiorari
  • Amicus briefs

Representing Appellants & Appellees

Our Appellate attorneys represent appellants and appellees in civil appeals, whether or not we served as counsel in the underlying case. We will handle litigation from inception through final appeal. We also are retained by trial counsel to assist their clients and will accept cases directly from clients seeking to appeal a lower court ruling.

We regularly handle a wide range of appellate matters, including:

  • Business bankruptcy, including seeking interpretations of the Internal Revenue Code and IRS regulations from the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Arizona and New Mexico and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel
  • Business law appeals of a wide range, including contract disputes
  • Utility law matters
  • Constitutional law issues
  • Construction law appeals, including payment on contracts, contractual interpretation, indemnification and hold harmless clauses
  • Employment law appeals, including the terms of employment contracts, discrimination and wrongful termination cases, defamation and libel cases
  • Native American law cases in federal, state, and tribal appellate courts
  • Personal injury and wrongful death appeals involving the elements of a claim, burden of proof, whether there is a duty owed, and whether punitive damages are appropriate
  • Professional malpractice, including medical malpractice, legal malpractice, insurance agent malpractice and accounting malpractice
  • Surety and fidelity cases on behalf of bonding companies
  • Liability and insurance defense appeals, including policy interpretation and coverage issues, the duty to defend, and the duty to indemnify
  • Appellate challenges to administrative agency rulemaking and adjudications
  • Antitrust cases

Experience in Court, Expertise in the Classroom

Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod Waterfall’s experienced Appellate attorneys have represented clients in appeals filed in the Arizona and New Mexico Courts of Appeals, the Arizona and New Mexico Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the Districts of Arizona and New Mexico (for bankruptcy appeals), various state Courts of Appeals, including Georgia, Maryland, and Illinois; the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, United States Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court as well as appeals in Tribal courts.

Several of our attorneys are called upon to lecture on appellate advocacy and some have also taught at local law schools and in continuing legal education courses on appeals-related topics. Our lawyers include practitioners listed in Best Lawyers in America® in Appellate Law and a Fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

  • Butch Randolph & Associates, Inc. v. International Fidelity Ins. Co., 212 Ariz. 550, 136 P.3d 232, (App. 2006) (Unlicensed subcontractor who provides materials and hires licensed contractor to perform installation work falls under material supplier exception to license laws)
  • L. Harvey Concrete, Inc. v. Agro Const. & Supply Co., 189 Ariz. 178, 939 P.2d 811 (App. 1997) (Court affirms “pay-if-paid” provision, and determines that an owner’s “gross mistake of fact” may require payment notwithstanding owner’s lack of payment)
  • Guttman v. Khalsa, 669 F.3d 1101 (10th Cir. 2012) (holding that waiver of Eleventh Amendment immunity in the American With Disabilities Act was unconstitutional)
  • Clinesmith v. Temmerman, 2013-NMCA-024, 298 P.3d 458 (affirming dismissal of former wife’s appeal challenging decision to void estate plan signed by her ex-husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Big D Const. Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 163 Ariz. 560, 789 P.2d 1061, 89 A.L.R.4th 567 (1990) (Court declares Arizona’s bid preference statute unconstitutional)
  • Citizens for Fair Rates and the Environment v. New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, 2022 N.M. LEXIS 1 (N.M. Jan. 10, 2022) (upholding New Mexico Energy Transition Act, rejecting multiple constitutional challenges raised by two environmental groups)
  • Brown Wholesale Elec. Co. v. Beztak of Scottsdale, Inc., 163 Ariz. 340, 788 P.2d 73 (1990) (Court adopts “joint check rule”)
  • TPL, Inc. v. New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue, 133 N.M. 447, 64 P.3d 474 (2002) (reversing the Department’s denial of TPL’s gross receipts tax deduction)
  • U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Corp. v. Advance Roofing & Supply Co., Inc., 163 Ariz. 476, 788 P.2d 1227 (App. 1989) (Court considers coverage under contractor’s general liability policy for defects in workmanship)
  • Capco Acquisub, Inc. v. Greka Energy Corp., 145 N.M. 328, 198 P.3d 354 (2008) (reversing judgment against appellant/parent corporation on due process grounds)
  • Brown v. Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Inc., 101 F.3d 1324 (10th Cir. 1996) (one of the few successful antitrust claims brought by a physician against a hospital based on the revocation of hospital privileges, affirming the district court’s application of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act)
  • Pioneer Roofing Co. v. Mardian Const. Co., 152 Ariz. 455, 733 P.2d 652, 38 Ed. Law Rep. 331 (App. 1986) (Court allows subcontractor’s recovery from prime contractor to be passed through to the owner and the owner’s representatives)
  • Pompeo v. Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico, 852 F.3d 973 (10th Cir. 2017) (affirming summary judgment for university defendants in academic free speech case)
  • Carillo v. My Way Holdings, LLC, 2017-NMCA-024, 389 P.3d 1087 (affirming summary judgment for racehorse track owners based on common law right to exclude licensees).
  • Murdock-Bryant Const., Incv. Pearson, 146 Ariz. 48, 703 P.2d 1197 (1985) (Court affirms recovery under theory of unjust enrichment)
  • Associated Indem. Corp. v. Warner, 143 Ariz. 567, 694 P.2d 1181 (1985) (Court held that (1) statute governing discretionary award of attorneys’ fees to successful litigants in contract actions does not establish presumption that attorney’s fees be awarded in such actions)
  • U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co. v. Powercraft Homes, Inc., 141 Ariz. 71, 685 P.2d 136 (App. 1984) (Court discusses notice requirements under an insurance policy)
  • Strausberg v. Laurel Healthcare Providers, LLC, 2013-NMSC-032, 304 P.3d 409 (reversing on federal preemption grounds decision to deny enforcement of arbitration clause)
  • Chavez v. Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC, 2021 N.M. LEXIS 74, 2021 WL 5294978 (N.M. Nov. 15, 2021) (rejecting “consent by registration” theory of jurisdiction and reversing determination of personal jurisdiction over tire manufacturer)

Contact Us When
Experience Matters

Contact the Appellate attorneys at Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod Waterfall. We serve clients in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as select cases elsewhere in the Western and Southwestern United States.


Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod expands by adding the talented lawyers of Waterfall, Economidis, Caldwell, Hanshaw & Villamana. Now with offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico as well as Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, the Firm will continue to serve its clients across the Southwest under the name Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod Waterfall LLP.