When the solution isn’t in plain sight, you need out-of-the-box thinking that brings your adversaries to the table and your case to a close.

Downs Rachlin Martin's appeals group exists to bring to bear the special skills, experience and insights that win appeals, as distinct from those involved in the other types of litigation handled by the firm.

Group members have handled more than fifty appeals in federal and state courts in these areas: federal preemption, consumer fraud, employment discrimination, real estate, land use and environmental permitting, bankruptcy, zoning, insurance coverage, lender liability, punitive damages, insurance insolvency, foreclosure, tax, product liability, labor, corporations, and creditor’s rights, among others.

Downs Rachlin's appeals group can provide any level of service to trial counsel presented with appellate issues that require the expertise of experienced appellate counsel.

The practice is led by Andre Bouffard, who has handled appeals at the U.S. Supreme Court, Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Second Circuit, and the Supreme Courts of Vermont and New Hampshire. He was a judicial clerk to Hon. William C. Hill of the Vermont Supreme Court. Christopher Roy appears frequently before the Vermont Supreme Court, and was a judicial clerk to Hon. Albert Coffrin of the United States District Court.

Recent Accomplishments

With more than 50 years combined experience, Downs Rachlin's appellate litigation group has continually demonstrated that their knowledge and experience can be brought to bear effectively on cases at many stages, both before and after a judgment is entered. Here are some recent examples:

  • Represented a trucking company in an appeal to the United States Supreme Court involving important issues of federal preemption of state laws under federal transportation statutes.
  • Represented the seller of a business in an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court establishing that Vermont’s consumer fraud laws do not apply to private business sales.
  • Represented mortgage lenders in appeals to the Vermont Supreme Court in cases involving standing to enforce secondary market mortgage loans and borrower lawsuits seeking to preempt foreclosure.
  • Represented mountain resort in an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court reversing a trial court decision on a deed covenant issue that would have required relocation of the resort’s golf course.
  • Represented purchaser of claims against an insolvent insurer in an appeal to the Vermont Supreme court establishing that the transfer of such claims does not destroy their statutory payment priority.
  • Represented public utility in an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court affirming the principle that Act 250 jurisdiction does not extend to utility distribution lines.
  • Represented a client in an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court overturning a punitive damages award in a case involving a breach of contract, and clarifying when such damages are recoverable in contract actions.
  • Represented easement holder in an appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court affirming rule that the owner of the underlying land cannot unilaterally relocate the easement.
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