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Appellate & Constitutional Law

Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird’s attorneys have extensive experience handling complex appellate and constitutional litigation in federal and state courts around the country. We have handled a wide range of complex issues, including high-stakes business, class action and constitutional litigation.

National Appellate Experience

Our team, which includes a former U.S. Department of Justice appellate attorney and attorneys who practiced in large national and regional firms, has argued appeals before 11 different U.S. Courts of Appeals as well as numerous different state appellate courts.

Experience With The Highest Courts

Our attorneys regularly appear before the Kentucky Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Our team also has considerable experience briefing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court at both the certiorari and merits stages, for both parties and amici.

Our team of appellate lawyers is regularly retained to take over high-stakes disputes as they move to the appellate court. We are skilled at working collaboratively with trial counsel to achieve the best possible results for our client, whether defending a victory below or attempting to overturn an unfortunate result.

Constitutional Law

Our attorneys also regularly litigate constitutional issues in state and federal trial courts, on a wide range of constitutional issues. This includes First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, 14th Amendment, pre-emption claims and state constitutional issues, among others.

Representative Matters

  • Cabinet for Econ. Dev. v. Courier-Journal, Inc., No. 2018-CA-001131-ME (Ky. Ct. App. May 17, 2019), review denied (Aug. 21, 2019): Successfully defended trial court order compelling the disclosure of documents containing the names of the shareholders in Braidy Industries, a company owned in part by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
  • Louisville/Jefferson Cty. Metro Gov’t v. Courier-Journal, Inc., __ S.W.3d __ (Ky. Ct. App. Aug. 9, 2019): Successfully defended landmark trial court ruling compelling the City of Louisville to disclose its bid for the Amazon HQ2 project.
  • Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Bos. Globe Life Scis. Media, LLC, No. 2016-CA-000710-MR (Ky. Ct. App. Dec. 14, 2018), review denied (Aug. 21, 2019): Successfully obtained and defended order requiring opioid litigation records to be unsealed, including an important and rare deposition of a key member of the family that owned Purdue Pharma.
  • Association of American Railroads v. Hatfield et al., __ F. Supp. 3d __ (E.D.K.Y. 2020): Obtained permanent injunction against enforcement of state statutes regulating the amount of time trains can block railroad crossings.
  • Clemons v. Norton Healthcare Inc. Ret. Plan, __ F.3d. __ (6th May 10, 2018): Successfully briefed case partially overturning class certification and vacating large damages award against ERISA retirement plan;
  • WPSD TV et al v. Jameson, Nos. 18-CA-277 & 18-CA-279 (Mar. 1. 2018): Successfully obtained emergency appellate relief ordering court to unseal proceedings of juvenile defendant indicted as an adult in connection with school shooting in Marshall County, KY;
  • Served as counsel of record in the U.S. Supreme Court in multiple cases for amici curiae, including Janus v. AFSCME, No. 16-1466 (merits stage); Coventry Health Care of Missouri v. Nevils, No. 16-149 (merits stage); and United Healthcare of Arizona, et al. v. Spinedex Physical Therapy USA, Inc., No. 14-1286 (cert. stage).
  • Utility Management Group v. Pike County Fiscal Court, 531 S.W.3d 3 (Ky. 2017): Successfully argued against retroactive application of amendment to Open Records Law;
  • Of Commissioners of City of Danville v. Advocate Commc’ns, Inc., 527 S.W.3d 803 (Ky. 2017): Successfully argued that public agency violated Open Meetings Act by conducting business in closed session;
  • Norfolk Southern Ry. Co. v. Johnson, No. 2016-SC-00248 (Ky. Sup. Ct. 2017): Successfully persuaded Kentucky Supreme Court to grant discretionary review in, and argued, a tort case presenting novel questions of law relating to the “Firefighter’s Rule” in Kentucky (decision pending).
  • KentuckyOne Health, Inc. v. Reid, 522 S.W.3d 193 (Ky. 2017): Successfully persuaded Kentucky Supreme Court to grant discretionary review, and reverse, decision denying HCQIA immunity to hospital;
  • Stavens v. Digenis, 2017 WL 1203395 (Ky. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2017): Successfully defended summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff concerning defendants’ duty to indemnify against creditor lawsuits under membership interest purchase agreement.
  • Eitel v. Duncan Commercial Real Estate, 2017 WL 65607 (Ky. Ct. App. January 6, 2017): Successfully defended dismissal of plaintiff’s claims of tortious interference with a contract and business relationship, fraud, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit, arising from a real estate transaction.
  • Humana Med. Plan, Inc. v. Western Heritage Ins. Co., 832 F.3d 1229 (11th Cir. 2016): Successfully argued case establishing MAOs’ rights to pursue affirmative recoveries from liability insurers under the MSP law;
  • Cabinet for Health & Family Servs. v. Courier-Journal, Inc., 493 S.W.3d 375 (Ky. Ct. App. 2016): Obtained and defended unprecedented judgment awarding client over $1 million in fees and penalties under Kentucky Open Records Act.
  • Harrison Mem’l Hosp., Inc. v. Wellcare Health Ins. Co. of Kentucky, Inc., 509 S.W.3d 69 (Ky. Ct. App. 2016), review denied (Feb. 9, 2017): Obtained and defended dismissal of suit seeking to force Medicaid MCOs to pay for non-emergency services rendered in emergency room setting.
  • Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters v. U.S. Dep’t of Transp., 724 F.3d 206 (D.C. Cir. 2013): Successfully briefed and argued against petitions for review challenging the U.S. Department of Transportation’s NAFTA Trucking Program, preserving more than $600 billion in annual cross-border trade throughout North America.

Contact Us

We counsel and represent clients in Metro Louisville and throughout the nation. To speak with one of our attorneys, call our office at 502-416-1630.