Practice Areas & Industries: Hill, Farrer & Burrill LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Our attorneys represent clients in appeals in all of the firm’s practice areas, involving not only cases in which we represented a party in the lower court, but also in cases where clients retain us specifically to handle an appeal. The Firm has been appellate counsel for a wide variety of clients, involving constitutional, statutory, procedural, and common law claims, defenses and issues. Our appellate attorneys draw on decades of experience to preserve and position appellate issues at the trial court level when an appeal is anticipated, and we handle appeals in all California Courts of Appeal, Federal Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Representative Matters

  • Represented landowner involved in a dispute with a neighboring sewage treatment plant regarding scope of easement to discharge treated effluent on landowner’s property. Successfully brought “anti-SLAPP” motion against sewage treatment company on grounds that the sewage treatment company was attempting to infringe on landowner’s first amendment rights of free speech and petition. Sewage treatment company has appealed and the appeal has been fully briefed. The parties are currently awaiting oral argument. 
  • Prevailed at trial with verdict of $84,700,000 in an eminent domain case involving the attempt by the State and City to condemn Los Angeles Union Station; our clients were awarded their fees and costs incurred after the State and City abandoned the taking due to the size of the verdict. State of California v. Union Pacific Land Resources (1985) 179 Cal.App. 3d 307. 
  • Successful appeals of adverse zoning and planning decisions, including both grants and denials of conditional use permits, variances, changes of zoning, and other entitlements. 
  • Brought an inverse condemnation action against the metropolitan transportation authority (MTA) on behalf of the owner of nationally recognized historic theater in Hollywood that had incurred significant expenses to mitigate damage to the historic theater during MTA train station construction. After an adverse ruling at the first trial, obtained full reversal from court of appeal in a published decision recognized as one of California Real Property Journal’s Top Ten Real Property Cases of 2003: Cuna Mutual Life Insurance Co.v. L.A. County MTA (2003) 108 Ca.App.4th 382. After successfully establishing liability on retrial, MTA paid $1.6 million in settlement to avoid the damages trial. 
  • Represented joint labor-management committee in appeal of trial court decision holding sections 1771.2 and 1776(e) of the Labor Code unconstitutional on due process grounds. Appeal stayed as a result of defendant’s bankruptcy.