Appeals Case History

Sean’s victories for his clients include the following:

Denver Public Schools v. Denver Classroom Teachers Association, ___ P.3d ___ (Colo. 2017) (reversing appeals court to uphold DPS’s opening of new innovation schools);

Stresscon Corp. v. Travelers, 09CV3252, on remand from 370 P.3d 140 (Colo. 2016) (after Supreme Court rehearing petition succeeded in obtaining remand, Denver district court judges reaffirmed original $2 million judgment and increased it by $600,000);

Arrabelle at Vail v. Vail Resorts, 382 P.3d 1275 (Colo. App. 2016) (invalidating Vail Resorts’ circumvention of statutory protection granted to homeowners);

Minor Child v. Children’s Hospital, 364 P.3d 891 (Colo. 2016) (rejecting hospital’s efforts to avoid liability for failing to protect suicidal minor patient);

In re Avandia Marketing Sales Practices, 658 Fed. Appx. 29 (3d Cir. 2016) (holding lawyer liable for contributions to common benefit fund);

Leone v. Owsley, 810 F.3d 1149 (10th Cir. 2015) (overturning summary judgment in case challenging valuation of hedge fund interest; 2016 retrial resulted in $1.9 million verdict);

Little v. Shell Oil, 602 F. App’x 959 (5th Cir. 2015) (overturning dismissal of False Claims Act lawsuit and ordering trial judge removed);

Boulders v. Law Firm, ___ P.3d ___ (Colo. App. 2015) (overturning multi-million dollar judgment against law firm client);

Justus v. State (Colorado PERA), 336 P.3d 202 (Colo. 2014) (overturning appeals court ruling to uphold constitutionality of statutory pension reforms saving $18 billion);

Colorado OCC v. PUC, 275 P.3d 656 (Colo. 2012) (overturning lower court order requiring national telecommunications provider to refund $30 million);

U.S. ex rel. Maxwell v. Kerr McGee Co., 540 F.3d 1180 (10th Cir. 2008) (overturning trial court dismissal and restoring $22 million False Claims Act award);

Federal Trade Comm’n v. Foster, 2007 WL 3023158 (10th Cir. 2007) (rejecting emergency antitrust challenge by federal government so corporate merger closed);

Kaiser v. Bowlen, 455 F.3d 1197 (10th Cir. 2006) (cross appeals preserving trial court victory and overturning trial court loss to retain full control in current ownership of Denver Broncos football franchise).

Sean has not won every case, and remembers the losses even more than the victories, including the following:

Pohl v. U.S. Bank, 859 F.3d 1226 (10th Cir. 2017) (rejecting legal challenge to bank foreclosure);

Denver v. Expedia, 405 P.3d 1128 (Colo. 2017) (sharply divided 3-1-3 decision holding online travel companies liable for Denver lodging taxes);

United States v. Sorensen, 801 F.3d 1217 (10th Cir. 2015) (affirming criminal tax conviction of client after previously ordering client released pending appeal);

And some appeals end in a split decision:

Jo Ann Howard, et al. v. Cassity, et al. (PNC Bank), 868 F.3d 637 (8th Cir. 2017) (affirming in part and vacating in part $355.5 million jury verdict against national bank)

Sean’s active pro bono practice includes the following cases:

Ghailani v. Lynch, No. 859 F.3d 1295 (10th Cir. 2017) (reversing dismissal of claims by Muslim inmate in Supermax seeking group prayer rights);

United States v. Jordan, 806 P.3d 1284 (10th Cir. 2016) (rejecting claims on innocence based on newly discovered evidence);

Dwyer v. State, 357 F.3d 185 (Colo. 2015) (4-3 decision rejecting constitutional challenge to state education funding);

Yellowbear v. Lampert, 741 F.3d 48 (10th Cir. 2014) (reversing ruling denying prison inmate’s right to participate in Native American services) (case was authored by now-Justice Neil Gorsuch, whose Senate forms listed it as one of his ten most important opinions as a Tenth Circuit judge).