Chairman: Barry R Levy (Chair of Management Committee)
Managing Partners: Karen M. Bray, Jason R Litt, Robert H Wright
Number of partners: 23 Number of lawyers: 40
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:
Amicus Curiae Support
Anti-SLAPP Motions & Appeals/First Amendment
Business & Commercial Law
Labor & Employment
Public Entity Liability
Real Property Litigation
Toxic Tort/Product Liability
Clients around the country turn to Horvitz & Levy for its demonstrated expertise in appellate success and 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 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 pre-trial 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.
Gilkyson v. Disney Enterprises, Inc. (2016)
Horvitz & Levy represented divisions of the Walt Disney Company in an appeal addressing a first-of-its-kind application of the doctrine of continuous accrual, which can extend the statute of limitations, to a contract for royalties, in this case for songs for Disney’s The Jungle Book, including ‘The Bare Necessities.’
First Amendment & Anti-SLAPP:
Angel v. Winograd (2016)
Horvitz & Levy convinced the Court of Appeal to reverse a trial court ruling that declined to strike a defamation lawsuit arising from a petition campaign. The opinion recognized that the legislative privilege protects statements that seek public support for a petition campaign calling for legislative action.
Cuevas v. Contra Costa County (2017)
Horvitz & Levy successfully reversed a jury award of nearly $9.6 million in this precedent-setting medical malpractice action. The court held that the MICRA statute allowing defendants to offer evidence of collateral source benefits in such actions applies not just to past medical benefits but also to future medical benefits. Deciding an important medical expense damages issue, the court also held that the trial court erred by excluding evidence regarding the market value of future medical services under Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
Labor & Employment:
Simers v. Los Angeles Times Communications (2018)
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. The Court of Appeal’s 55-page published opinion provides employers with a powerful tool for challenging constructive discharge claims before trial.
Heston v. Taser International, Inc. (2011)
The jury awarded $5.2 million in punitive damages and $1,020,000 in compensatory damages against a global provider of electronic control devices. Horvitz & Levy assisted trial counsel in persuading the district court to vacate all punitive damages and then persuaded the Ninth Circuit to uphold that result.
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.