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Appellate Practice

While some firms may shy away from handling difficult appellate cases, we relish the challenge and the opportunity to prevail for our clients. Over the years our appellate attorneys have included some of the most highly regarded jurists in New York State, including a former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, a former presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, and other attorneys who have gone on from Mackenzie Hughes to become respected judges of the New York State Supreme Court and United States Federal District Court.

Our appellate attorneys have handled major appeals that have helped to define and shape numerous issues of New York civil law, including proximate causation of personal injuries (Campbell v. Central New York Regional Transportation Authority, 7 N.Y.3d 819); a bus operator’s duty to passengers (Smith v. Sherwood, 16 N.Y.3d 130); the determination of damages for breach of a contract for the sale of real estate (White v. Farrell, 20 N.Y.3d 487); defective design of a dock leveler (Passante v. Agway Consumer Prods., 12 N.Y.3d 372); contractor liability under Labor Law 240 (Narducci v. Manhasset Bay Associates, 96 N.Y.2d 259); the limitation of property damage liability a car rental company can impose on the renter of a vehicle (Master Cars, Inc. v. Walters, 95 N.Y.2d 395); requirements for the exercise of long-arm personal jurisdiction (Talbot v. Johnson Newspaper Corporation, 71 N.Y.2d 827); the admissibility of expert opinion (Sawyer v. Dreis & Krump Manufacturing Co., 67 N.Y.2d 328); the grant of a real property tax exemption for municipal airport (City of Syracuse v. Comerford, 13 A.D.3d 1109); barring negligence claims on issues already decided in prior special proceedings (Graven vs. Children’s Home R.T.F., Inc., 152 A.D.3d.1152); upholding the right of a third-party defendant brought late into a lawsuit to vacate a trial note of issue (Guido v. County of Cayuga, 155 A.D.3d 1675); and sustaining a town’s authority to impose permit, legal, and engineering fees on developers of subdivisions (Home Builders Assoc. of Central New York, Inc. v. Town of Onondaga, 267 A.D.2d 973). In the area of criminal law, one member of our appellate group succeeded in obtaining the reversal of a criminal conviction and sentence of over thirty years in prison by convincing the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit to recognize a new kind of “structural error” that required reversal even without a showing of prejudice (United States v. Harbin, 250 F.3d 532).

Recognizing our expertise in handling complex legal issues before state, federal, and administrative appellate tribunals, businesses retain us as special appellate counsel to provide a fresh look at their cases. We also provide support to trial attorneys, municipal counsel, and other attorneys by handling their appeals, advising them on particular matters, or undertaking research, briefing, or argument of specific issues.

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Our experienced attorneys will work with you to create meaningful legal solutions designed to help you make better business, personal planning and legal decisions.

Meet the Team



Ryan T. Emery and Samantha L. Millier Named Partners at Mackenzie Hughes LLP

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Ryan T. Emery and Samantha L. Millier have been elected to the partnership at Mackenzie Hughes LLP. Emery joined Mackenzie Hughes in 2006 and focuses his practice in the areas of litigation, estate planning and estate administration. Admitted to both the New York and Florida Bar, he serves clients residing in both…

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Helping Out Our Furry Friends

Helping Out Our Furry Friends As the cold weather approaches our area, pet owners in Syracuse should be aware of the new legislation passed in June of this year which stipulates that an animal shall not be left outside for more than two hours below 30 degrees or above 90 degrees.  The legislation, known as…

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