H. Lee Lewis
Partner since 2018
Practicing Since 2013
Phone: (509) 662-3685
Areas of Practice
Trial attorneys and appellate attorneys are, at their core, highly-skilled persuaders. But a great trial lawyer and an effective appellate advocate rarely exist in the same body. The reason is simple: the rhetorical tools used at trial to persuade a fact-finder are far different from those necessary to persuade a panel of appellate judges.
While good trial lawyers are adept at ferreting out information through discovery, examining witnesses and making spontaneous tactical decisions in court, an appellate lawyer must be especially talented in persuasive writing. On appeal, the focus shifts from developing facts to mastering the record, researching legal principles, understanding subtle distinctions and emerging legal trends, exploring creative analogies, and guiding policy considerations that shape the law, and then assembling everything in a concise, persuasively written brief. Too many trial lawyers fail to make this adjustment. Indeed, too many trial lawyers do not even realize that an adjustment is required—to the detriment of their clients.
Trial lawyers have busy schedules: court appearances, depositions, discovery, client meetings, travel. The day-to-day life of a trial lawyer leaves little time for the thoughtful reflection, exhaustive research, and precise, persuasive writing that effective appellate representation requires. I focus my practice on what I do best: briefing and arguing to the Washington and Ninth Circuit appellate courts. If you are a Washington trial attorney facing an appeal, I can help.
For more information regarding the appellate process and the appellate services offered at JDSA, please click here.
Representative Appellate Cases
Representative Appellate Cases:
Lodwig v. Lodwig, No. 35832-1-III, 2019 WL 1423678 (Wn. App. Mar. 28, 2019) (unpublished) – Obtained affirmation of trial court’s disbursement of community assets in a dissolution trial. Also awarded sanctions against the opposing party, which the Court ordered be donated to a local non-profit
Garcia v. City of Spokane, et al., 745 Fed. Appx. 730 (9th Cir. 2018) (unpublished) — Obtained affirmation of jury verdict dismissal of Plaintiff’s Constitutional wrongful search claims against Corrections Sergeant client.
Bess v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 727 Fed. Appx. 918 (9th Cir. 2018) (unpublished) — Obtained reversal of the District Court’s Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of class action brought against a residential lender whom the class alleges entered into their homes, changed, their locks, and removed personal property in contravention of Washington law.
Mikolajczak v. Mann, 1 Wn. App. 2d 493, 406 P.3d 670 (2017) — Reversed trial court’s order denying summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s statutory disability discrimination claims. In an issue of first impression, persuaded the Court that employees of sole proprietorships could not be combined with employees of artificial entities to meet WLAD’s eight-or-more employee threshold.
Heideman v. Chelan County, ex rel. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, No. 33093-1-III, 2016 WL 2672012 (Wn. App. May 10, 2016) (unpublished) — Successfully defended summary judgment dismissal of claims of negligent investigation brought against client Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.
Gen. Constr. Co. v. Pub. Util. Dist. No. 2 of Grant Cty., 195 Wn. App. 698, 380 P.3d 636 (2016) —Reversed trial court’s order denying summary judgment dismissal of a portion of plaintiff’s $20M construction claim. The Court also reaffirmed the Supreme Court’s ruling in Mike M. Johnson v. County of Spokane that a contractor’s failure to follow contractual notice and claim provisions bars the contractor’s right to purse a claim.
Little Butte Property Owners Water Association v. Ken Bradley, et al., No. 18-35728 (9th Cir.) (Filed August 29, 2018)—Seeking affirmation of District Court’s summary judgment in favor of a water association for a permanent injunction and monetary damages as well as dismissal of property owner’s claims for trespass and civil rights violations.
Koenig v. City of Quincy, No. 363953 (Wn. Ct. App. Div. III) (Filed October 19, 2018) – Seeking reversal of summary judgment dismissal of an employee’s claim of failure to accommodate her disability under Washington’s Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).
How to Decide Whether to Appeal a Case
From complying with deadlines and procedures, to understanding standard of review, an experienced appellate attorney can guide you through the process.
Top 10 Tips for Writing a Persuasive Appellate Brief
Top 10 tips for writing persuasive appellate briefs include understanding your audience, applying storytelling techniques, avoiding jargon and merciless editing.
Appellate Advocacy in the Digital Age
Appellate advocacy in the digital age means using technology to make e-briefs that are visually appealing, searchable, linkable, and easily navigable.