Unlike some other firms which have recently formed appellate practice groups, Horton, Shields & Knox, P.C. has handled appellate and trial litigation throughout its 36- year history. Attorneys in the firm have argued, briefed or consulted on hundreds of cases in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts. We have also argued matters before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney Wesley Horton successfully argued Kelo v. New London before the United States Supreme Court in 2005.
Every lawyer in the firm handles appeals before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts in a full, diverse range of areas including constitutional law, contracts, construction law, personal injury, products liability, family law, real estate, criminal and juvenile law. The firm's cases include reversal of multi-million dollar verdicts, such as the $30 million verdict in Glazer v. Dress Barn. Members of the firm were also instrumental in obtaining the reversal of a $40 million verdict in Pelletier v. Sordoni/Skanska Construction Company. Cases handled by the firm have shaped the substantive law on family law, civil rights, eminent domain and procedural law. The firm has influenced the procedure for handling appeals through its cases.
Each attorney in the firm brings a long-standing commitment to appellate practice to bear in assessing appeals, recognizing and defining issues and preparing the appeal for its respective court. Appellate advocacy is an exacting process, one which requires a sincere dedication to the appellate process. It starts with the filing of the initial papers, with the crafting of the issues. It is furthered by the briefing, with research and forthright written advocacy. It culminates in the oral argument, preferably a dialogue with the Court to advance a better understanding of the issues already presented.
In furtherance of the firm's longstanding commitment to its appellate practice, attorneys in the firm speak, write, and teach about appeals. Attorneys Horton and Bartschi provide case and practice annotations to Connecticut's appellate rules in Connecticut Practice Series: Connecticut Rules of Appellate Practice, which is issued annually by West Publishing. Attorneys Horton and Bartschi also author the Connecticut Appellate Review, which appears annually in the Connecticut Bar Journal. Attorneys Dowd and Bartschi have spoken at the Connecticut Bar Association for the last two years on developments in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts, respectively. They follow in the footsteps of Attorney Wesley Horton who previously spoke at the Connecticut Bar Association on the topic, first alone and then with Attorney Bartschi. Attorneys Knox and Horton co-founded the Appellate Advocacy Institute of the Connecticut Bar Association, an intensive three-day appellate practice program, in which they, and Attorney Bartschi, have served as faculty. In addition, Attorney Knox founded and co-chaired the Connecticut Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Committee (now Section). Attorney Bartschi is an active member of that committee, helping to draft rule changes which have been adopted by the judiciary. Attorney Horton has been teaching appellate advocacy at the University of Connecticut School of Law since 1971. Attorneys Dowd and Levesque each separately taught the Moot Court interterm at UConn School of Law. These activities provide continued opportunities to renew and expand the legal skills of the firm's attorneys as well as others.
That other lawyers turn to the attorneys at Horton, Shields & Knox, P.C. for practice guidance, instruction and reviews of appellate developments speaks volumes. That the bulk of our appeals over the past 36 years have been referrals from other lawyers probably speaks the loudest.