Clients can count on Jones, Skelton & Hochuli’s Appellate Group to be effective advocates when civil court decisions are appealed to a higher court. With combined experience exceeding 100 years, our appellate attorneys are familiar with the appellate process and adept at pinpointing and arguing the legal issues at the heart of our clients’ cases.

Our highly skilled attorneys have handled and co-counseled a wide variety of civil appeals at every level of state and federal court, from administrative appeals to state trial courts to federal appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court. They have significant motion and appeals experience in many different fields, including commercial litigation, personal injury, workers’ compensation, government defense, tort and insurance.

We are dedicated to finding the best legal strategies to advocate for our clients and are as effective advancing our clients’ goals through written briefs as we are through oral arguments. Our attorneys—all law school standouts and former judicial clerks/externs—have been instrumental in shaping Arizona law and are highly respected for their contributions to the field as well as the results we achieve for our clients.

Representative Cases

  • Won reversal of the Rule 60(c) ruling setting aside our defense verdict in Sloan (Ariz. App. 2017).
  • Successfully represented physician in appeal affirming that heightened standard of proof applies to emergency room conduct.  Stafford v. Burns, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. App. 2017).
  • Successfully defended physician in medical malpractice action; plaintiff was not entitled to automatic substitution of expert at summary judgment stage. St. George v. Plimpton, 384 P.3d 1243 (Ariz. App. 2016).
  • Successfully argued that a claimant must file a notice of claim before filing suit against a city council member.  Villasenor v. Evans, 386 P.3d 1273 (Ariz. App. 2016).
  • A case of first impression, Supreme Court adopted the learned intermediary doctrine and rejected direct to consumer marketing exception.  Watts v. Medicis, 365 P.3d 944 (Ariz. 2016).
  • Successfully argued that $38 million “Morris agreement” between the insureds and an entity they wholly owned and controlled was not enforceable.  Fidelity Nat. Title Ins. Co. v. Centerpoint Mechanic Lien Claims, LLC, 238 Ariz. 135 (Ariz. App. 2015).
  • Successfully defended law firm sued by an ousted member of LLC attempting to bring a derivative action against LLC’s lawyers.  KCI Rest. Mgmt. LLC v. Holm Wright Hyde & Hayes PLC, 341 P.3d 1156 (Ariz. App. 2014).
  • Successfully argued that district court in environmental case failed to independently evaluate whether CERCLA consent decrees were fair, reasonable, and consistent with CERCLA’s objectives.  Arizona v. City of Tucson, 761 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 2014).
  • Successfully argued that retirement agreement was not a shareholder agreement subject to expiration.  Gries v. Plaza Del Rio Mgmt. Corp., 335 P.3d 530 (Ariz. App. 2014).
  • Succeeded in workers’ compensation appeal holding that income from a horse-care business arose from an independent contractor relationship, precluding inclusion in wage calculation.  Munoz v. Industrial Com’n of Ariz., 318 P.3d 439 (Ariz. App. 2014).
  • Obtained reversal of capital conviction for failure to disclose Brady evidence concerning a police detective’s record of misconduct, Milke v. Ryan, 711 F.3d 998 (9th Cir. 2013), then obtained dismissal of capital case on double jeopardy grounds. Milke v. Mroz, 339 P.3d 659 (Ariz. App. 2014).
  • Won construction appeal holding that homeowners cannot assert claims directly against subcontractors for breach of warranty of workmanship and habitability.  Yanni v. Tucker Plumbing, Inc., 312 P.3d 1130 (Ariz. App. 2013).
  • Defended Governor’s and Senate’s removal of chairwoman.  Ariz. Indep. Redistricting Comm’n v. Brewer, 275 P.3d 1267 (Ariz. 2012).
  • Obtained dismissal of airline patron’s appeal of complaint’s dismissal.  Santee v. Mesa Airlines, 270 P.3d 915 (Ariz. App. 2012).
  • Obtained affirmance of dismissal of parents’ suit against school district for alleged violation of IDEA. R.P. v. Prescott Unified Sch. Dist., 631 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2011).
  • Argued that female detention officer’s pat down over male inmate’s boxers was not unconstitutional. Byrd v. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Dep’t, 629 F.3d 1135 (9th Cir. 2011).  
  • Successfully argued for officer’s qualified immunity for arresting plaintiff on facially valid but quashed arrest warrant. Ochser v. Funk, 266 P.3d 1061 (Ariz. 2011).
  • Argued for untimeliness of claim for medical expenses; Supreme Court holds minor owns claim for medical expenses along with parent. Estate of DeSela v. Prescott Unified Sch. Dist. 249 P.3d 767 (Ariz. 2011).  
  • Counsel for Amicus in opinion upholding a defendant hospital and counsel’s right to speak informally with a treating physician employed by hospital. Phoenix Children’s Hospital v. Grant, 265 P.3d 417 (Ariz. App. 2011).  
  • Won affirmance of summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds. Best Choice Fund, LLC v. Low & Childers, 269 P.3d 678 (Ariz. App. 2011)
  • Won summary judgment on tribal employees’ claim against school district; tribal court lacks jurisdiction. Red Mesa Unified Sch. Dist. v. Yellowhair, 2010 WL 3855183 (D. Ariz. 2010).  
  • Won workers compensation case involving supportive care benefits. Bank One Corp. v. Indus. Comm’n of Arizona, 244 P.3d 571 (Ariz. App. 2010).
  • Won affirmance of summary judgment for City; officer’s early retirement was not a constructive discharge. Knappenberger v. City of Phoenix, 566 F.3d 936 (9th Cir. 2009).  
  • Won appeal establishing that punitive & compensatory damages are unavailable for ADEA retaliation. Alvarado v. Cajun Op. Co., 588 F.3d 1261 (9th Cir. 2009).
  • Amicus counsel in notice of claim cases. Backus v. State, 203 P.3d 499 (Ariz. 2009), and Lee v. State, 182 P.3d 1169 (Ariz. 2008).  
  • Addressed joint control of a roadway between City & ADOT. State v. City of Kingman, 176 P.3d 53 (Ariz. App. 2009)
  • Won affirmance of summary judgment for City on immunity grounds in road design case.  Kohl v. City of Phoenix, 160 P.3d 170 (Ariz. 2007).
  • Won affirmance of summary judgment for City on lack of causation grounds; plaintiff argued absence of light at bus stop caused abduction. Grafitti-Valenzuela v. City of Phoenix, 167 P.3d 711 (Ariz. App. 2007).
  • Counsel for amici counties in case holding that service of notice of claim on one board member insufficient to comply with statute.  Falcon v. Maricopa County, 144 P.3d 1254 (Ariz. 2006).
  • Won affirmance of summary judgment in personal injury action against school employee; New Mexico court applied Arizona’s statute of limitations. Sam v. Estate of Sam, 134 P.3d 761 (N.M. 2006).
  • Amicus counsel for city in case holding that City’s non-delegable duty does not negate developer’s liability. Nelson v. Grayhawk Props. L.L.C., 104 P.3d 168 (Ariz. App. 2004).
  • Won affirmance of summary judgment for City in claim by deaf citizens for changes to 911 system.  Ferguson v. City of Phoenix, 157 F.3d 668 (9th Cir. 1998).
  • Won affirmance of summary judgment for school district in case by high school students’ parents for car accident after students left school. Tollenaar v. Chino Valley Sch. Dist., 945 P.2d 1310 (Ariz. App. 1997).
  • Won U.S. Supreme Court case invalidating district court’s injunction requiring sweeping changes in prison libraries and inmate assistance. Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996).
Arizona At-A-Glance Defense Favorability by County
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