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Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice

In September 2016, Marshall Dennehey's Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group was recognized as the Pennsylvania "Litigation Department of the Year" for Appellate Law by The Legal Intelligencer. The practice group was selected for its focused approach and responsiveness to clients. Read The Legal Intelligencer's article, "Ready to Roll:  Marshall Dennehey Puts Clients' Needs First."

Established more than a quarter-century ago, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin's Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group began as a pioneer in its field and continues its leadership in providing fully cooperative, innovative, objectively thorough and technologically advanced services to help clients achieve their litigation goals as early and economically as possible.
Our Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group attorneys have been involved in more than 2,000 cases, and they continue to provide solid and efficient litigation support through sound advice and guidance and zealous hard work in the evaluation, development and promotion of clients' interests in the pre-trial, trial and post-trial phases of their cases.
Our Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group attorneys work closely with clients and trial counsel. They impart the unique perspectives of the post-trial and appellate courts in the execution of their dual mission: to augment the depth and effectiveness of pre-trial and trial teams and to prosecute and defend post-trial motions and appeals.
The work of our firm's appellate attorneys includes front-line responsibility for conducting necessary legal research, writing required briefs. and preparing and presenting oral arguments in post-trial motions and appeals.  By undertaking the execution of these tasks, our appellate team enables our clients' trial attorneys to meet the demands of the trial courts free from the radically different, deceptively intricate and time-consuming regimens of the post-trial and appellate courts.
In addition, our appellate attorneys employ the unique insights gained from their interactions with the appellate courts to support trial counsel in the development and prosecution of dispositive pre-trial motions, in the strategic legal research and analysis of complex and first-impression issues and in the development of effective trial strategies and tactics.
High Standards
Our appellate attorneys are dedicated to their professional mission.  They adhere to high standards of excellence, efficiency and client-oriented service.  Their cumulative experience encompasses hundreds of cases and spans all areas of our firm's wide-ranging litigation fields.
Our appellate attorneys employ state-of-the-art word-processing, computer-assisted legal research programs and in-house publishing facilities to enhance productivity, quality control and cost efficiencies.
To enhance their skills, the quality of appellate practice and the relationship between the appellate courts and appellate practitioners, the attorneys in this group participate in professional associations such as:

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association's Post-Trial and Appellate Practice Committee (founding co-chair and members)
  • DRI's Appellate Advocacy Committee (leadership, case reporter and seminar roles)
  • ABA's Council of Appellate Lawyers (leadership and case reporter roles)
  • Appellate Practice Committees of the ABA's Tort Trial and Insurance and Litigation Sections (case reporter)

Our appellate attorneys also provide instructive seminars and other presentations to enhance clients' understandings of the complexities and intricacies of post-trial and appellate practice.
The Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group serves clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Florida and New York.


Dec 16, 2010
Attorney received a favorable decision from the state Supreme Court. The attorney had successfully argued a Motion to Dismiss before the state Superior Court seeking dismissal of plaintiff’s filing of an identical action to a prior Complaint which...
Sep 27, 2010
Attorney succeeded in persuading the Third Circuit to affirm the decision of the District Court, to deny the plaintiff's motion for F.R.Civ.P. 60(b) relief from a judgment. In response to the plaintiff's complaint, the attorney filed a timely...
Mar 4, 2008
Attorneys successfully defended an appeal on behalf of the county deputy surrogate. The appeal arose out of the trial court's decision which granted summary judgment to the defendant attorney/surrogate in connection with the administration of an...



Defense Digest Article September 1, 2010
Chuck Craven (Philadelphia, PA) succeeded in persuading the Pennsylvania Superior Court to affirm the dismissal of a tax dissenter's lawsuit against a bank. In response to a levy imposed by the federal Internal Revenue Service on the plaintiff..., Defense Digest, Vol. 16, No. 3, September 2010
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2010
Audrey Copeland (King of Prussia, PA) procured the Pennsylvania Superior Court's affirmance of the dismissal by judgment on the pleadings of an action based upon the statute of limitations. The Superior Court reasoned that the trial court..., Defense Digest, Vol. 16, No. 2, June 2010
Defense Digest Article March 1, 2010
Chuck Craven (Philadelphia, PA) succeeded in obtaining an affirmance of a defense medical malpractice judgment in favor of a defendant emergency room physician from a unanimous three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court (Judges Musmanno..., Defense Digest, Vol. 16, No. 1, March 2010
Defense Digest Article December 1, 2009
John Hare (Philadelphia, PA) succeeded in having the Pennsylvania Supreme Court take the unusual step of granting reargument of its own decision. The Court had previously overruled well-settled Pennsylvania law holding that a nurse is not permitted..., Defense Digest, Vol. 15, No. 4, December 2009
Defense Digest Article September 1, 2009
Chuck Craven (Philadelphia, PA) succeeded in persuading the Pennsylvania Superior Court to unanimously affirm the dismissal of the plaintiffs' complaint on preliminary objections in Baker v. Pocono Mountain Chamber of Commerce (No. 1636 EDA 2008..., Defense Digest, Vol. 15, No. 3, September 2009
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2009
Chuck Craven (Philadelphia, PA) and Audrey Copeland (King of Prussia, PA), who wrote the Brief of Appellant and argued the appeal, respectively, convinced the Commonwealth Court to vacate a Philadelphia jury's verdict of $550,000 against our..., Defense Digest, Vol. 15, No. 2, June 2009



November 18, 2013
Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal in the Commonwealth Court, for a police officer, his supervisor and the police department in a case involving police pursuit that ended in a fatal crash. The case changed the law in Pennsylvania, as the court held for the first time, "There is no duty...
May 17, 2013
John J. Hare, Shareholder and Chair of the Appellate Advocacy and Post Trial Practice Group, presented oral arguments earlier this month in Vanderhoff v. Harleysville Insurance in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This is the second time that Vanderhoff has been considered by the Supreme Court. R....
May 16, 2013
John Hare, Chairman of the Post-Trial and Appellate Advocacy Practice Group at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, testified in April before the Pennsylvania Legislature in support of a bill he co-drafted that seeks transparency in the process by which claimants seek compensation from...



John J. Hare
Chair, Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice
(215) 575-2609

Additional Contacts

Teresa Ficken Sachs
Vice Chair, Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group
(215) 575-4560
Christopher E. Dougherty
Director, Professional Liability Department
(215) 575-2733

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