Managing Partners: Karen M Bray, Jason R Litt, Robert H Wright
Number of partners: 22 Number of lawyers: 42
Horvitz & Levy LLP is the largest law firm in the United States specializing in civil appellate litigation and trial strategy consulting. Founded in 1957, the firm’s services include assisting trial counsel in preserving and developing issues for appellate review, preparing critical trial court motions in anticipation of appeal, negotiating favorable settlements pending appeal, and full briefing and argument before the appellate courts. The firm appears more often in civil cases in the California appellate courts than any other firm in the state, including appearances in more than 150 cases before the California Supreme Court since 1990. Horvitz & Levy also frequently appears in federal appellate courts including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and state appellate courts around the country. Since 1990, the firm has won its cases on behalf of appellants at three times the statistical average statewide.
Main Areas of Practice:
Clients around the country turn to Horvitz & Levy for its demonstrated success on appeal and in shaping the law. With dozens of appellate filings every month, the firm’s attorneys regularly handle groundbreaking appeals in a range of areas, including entertainment, First Amendment and anti-SLAPP, healthcare, labor and employment, punitive damages, and toxic tort and product liability.
Amicus Curiae Support:
Horvitz & Levy monitors pending cases and legislation where the outcome may bear on the interests of the firm’s clients, and regularly prepares amicus briefs and letters to inform appellate courts about how their decisions will affect individuals and businesses who are not parties to the case. The firm’s amicus briefs advance arguments to move or clarify the law in ways favorable to clients, for example, by explaining how other jurisdictions handle similar issues more fairly or efficiently.
In cases that are of exceptionally high value to clients, either because of the liability exposure in the individual matter or because of recurring institutional issues, Horvitz & Levy works in the federal and state trial courts, laying the foundation for an appeal before a notice of appeal is filed. The firm consults with trial lawyers with an eye toward preserving important legal issues for appeal. The firm drafts critical pretrial motions, like motions for summary judgment and motions in limine, in an effort to secure a victory in the trial court before a verdict is returned. And if an adverse verdict is returned, the firm often drafts important post-trial motions to obtain any possible relief from the trial judge.
Dickinson v. Cosby (2018)
Horvitz & Levy appeared specially in the trial court to brief an anti-SLAPP motion on behalf of Bill Cosby’s attorney in response to plaintiff’s claim that the attorney defamed her in press releases concerning her accusations against Cosby. Horvitz & Levy’s briefing persuaded the trial court to strike the claims against the attorney.
Business & Commercial Law/Intellectual Property:
Quidel Corp. v. Superior Court (2019)
The trial court granted summary adjudication against Quidel Corporation, invalidating an exclusivity provision in an ongoing business relationship under a legal standard that would have proven devastating to California businesses. Horvitz & Levy filed a writ petition on behalf of Quidel, which convinced the California Court of Appeal to reverse the summary adjudication.
Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania v. County of San Bernardino (2019)
Horvitz & Levy secured the complete affirmance of a judgment in favor of its insurer client in a coverage dispute worth tens of millions of dollars, convincing the Ninth Circuit that the County of San Bernardino could not “stack” the limits of successive policies to increase its policy limits from $9 million per occurrence to $27 million per occurrence.
Consumer Law/Products Liability & Toxic Torts:
Steele v. Bell-Carter Foods (2019)
Horvitz & Levy obtained the affirmance of a summary judgment, resulting in reaffirmation of a favorable rule of law in products liability claims arising from injuries caused by substances in food products that are natural to the preparation of the product.
Business & Commercial Law/Public Entity Liability:
Strategic Concepts, LLC v. Beverly Hills Unified School District (2018)
Horvitz & Levy successfully obtained reversal of a $23 million breach of contract judgment against Beverly Hills Unified School District. Premises Liability: Jabo v. YMCA of San Diego County (2018) In a precedent-setting case involving landowner liability for use of an automated external defibrillator, Horvitz & Levy obtained a published opinion in favor of defendant YMCA, thereby avoiding plaintiffs’ claims for millions of dollars in wrongful death damages.
Labor & Employment:
Simers v. Los Angeles Times Communications (2019)
First Horvitz & Levy successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal to reject a former Los Angeles Times’ sports columnist’s constructive discharge claim as a matter of law. Most recently, following a 2019 retrial that resulted in a $15 million verdict against the defendant, Horvitz & Levy appeared in the trial court and persuaded the trial court to grant a new trial.
Toxic Tort & Product Liability:
Lockheed Litigation Cases (2017)
Horvitz & Levy successfully represented Exxon Mobil and Unocal in a series of mass toxic tort appeals arising from injuries allegedly suffered by more than 600 plaintiffs who claimed exposure to a variety of organic solvents. The firm’s work has resulted in nine court of appeal opinions over 23 years addressing institutional issues including causation, admissibility of expert testimony, and punitive damages. Most recently, Horvitz & Levy succeeded in upholding a summary judgment eliminating the claims of virtually all the remaining plaintiffs.
Victaulic v. American Home Assurance Company (2018)
Horvitz & Levy obtained a reversal of an insurance bad faith and punitive damages verdict of approximately $52 million against several member companies of AIG. The punitive damages award was one of the largest in California history, far exceeding any amount ever upheld against an insurer.