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Poyner Spruill’s appellate lawyers have litigated hundreds of significant appellate matters, including cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Clients trust our appellate lawyers to take the lead on their most important legal challenges, especially those with novel legal issues. We are often retained as appellate counsel in cases handled by other lawyers in the trial court. In addition, industry stakeholders frequently engage us to file amicus briefs in cases of great importance.

Our appellate lawyers have a thorough understanding of the appellate process and its decision makers. Many of the firm’s lawyers began their careers with appellate clerkships, including clerkships on the Third Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, and the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The members of our appellate team are leaders within the appellate bar. Eddie Speas, a former Chief Deputy Attorney General, has handled direct appeals and certiorari matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, including several closely watched cases involving voting rights and redistricting. Drew Erteschik, a board-certified appellate specialist, is co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division Amicus Committee and vice chair of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Appellate Rules Committee.

A few of our appellate team’s recent matters include:

  • Persuading the Fourth Circuit to hold that the economic-loss doctrine barred a $19 million lawsuit against our client for its alleged role in a commercial fire
  • Successfully arguing to the Fourth Circuit that an $11 million class-action lawsuit against our client was correctly dismissed because it impermissibly relied on ethics rules governing lawyers
  • Obtaining a unanimous decision from the North Carolina Supreme Court that North Carolina does not recognize a civil claim for negligent storage of a firearm
  • Persuading the North Carolina Supreme Court to affirm the dismissal of lawsuit alleging fraud and breach of contract in our developer client’s sale of over $15 million in real estate
  • Obtaining a Fourth Circuit decision in favor of our client in a million-dollar case involving an issue of first impression under the federal Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act
  • Successfully arguing that North Carolina’s courts should recognize, for the first time, that the doctrine of in pari delecto (“in equal fault”) is a defense to a legal malpractice claim
  • Successfully arguing to the North Carolina Supreme Court that the First Amendment barred a lawsuit between a church pastor and a minority of the church’s congregation because the dispute involved matters of religious doctrine and practice
  • In a case of first impression under the Foreign-Country Money Judgments Recognition Act, successfully defending a Scottish Courts’ award of attorneys’ fees on appeal in a lawsuit contending that the Scottish “loser pays” system was contrary to public policy
  • Persuading the Tennessee Supreme Court to hold that the economic-loss doctrine bars tort claims even when the damage to a product occurs in a sudden manner
  • Persuading the North Carolina Court of Appeals to reverse the Property Tax Commission and hold that our local government client was entitled to assess property taxes against Grandfather Mountain, one of the state’s most well-known scenic attractions
  • Obtaining a decision from the North Carolina Supreme Court affirming the dismissal of a lawsuit against our bank client for allegedly defrauding investors by artificially inflating property values
  • Persuading the North Carolina Supreme Court that a trial court properly set aside a large punitive damages award against our client in a lawsuit for malicious prosecution
  • Obtaining a decision affirming summary judgment in favor of a bank in a lawsuit claiming that the plaintiff was entitled to thousands of shares of stock when she located a stock certificate in her mother’s name that had been purchased decades earlier from the bank’s predecessor
  • Successfully arguing to the Fourth Circuit that a district court had properly abstained from exercising federal jurisdiction in a case involving state land-use policy


  • Edwin Marion Speas Jr.Partnert: 919.783.2881f: 919.783.1075
  • Andrew H. ErteschikPartnert: 919.783.2895f: 919.783.1075
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