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Appellate and Complex Litigation



The Sandberg Phoenix Appellate and Complex Litigation Team provides a comprehensive array of trial and appellate expertise to enable successful outcomes at any stage of litigation – or even before a lawsuit is filed. Our team assists lawyers and clients by developing creative options that take account of the big picture and the fine details involved in every case.

We are regularly called upon to prepare motions to dismiss, motions to strike or limit expert testimony, writ petitions, motions for summary judgment, jury instructions, and post-judgment motions. In addition, we cover all aspects of the appellate process, including preparation of the notice of appeal, the record on appeal, and the appellate briefs, as well as oral argument. We also handle interlocutory (pre-trial) appeals and prepare amicus (friend of the court) briefs.

In appropriate cases such as high-stakes or “bet the company” litigation, we assist the lead trial lawyer as “appellate counsel in residence,” helping to protect the record before, during, and after trial.


  • Menschik v. Heartland Reg’l Med. Ctr., 531 S.W.3d 551 (Mo. App. W.D. 2017): affirmance of a defense verdict in a medical malpractice trial
  • Schnitker v. Springfield Urban League, Inc., 2016 IL App (4th) 150991, 67 N.E.3d 583 (2016): reversal of a plaintiff’s jury verdict because the trial court submitted instructions that inaccurately stated the law
  • Howard v. Eaton Corp., 16-0055, 2016 WL 6651592 (W. Va. Nov. 10, 2016): affirmance of summary judgment for a manufacturer, in a suit alleging that the manufacturer’s product was inherently dangerous, and that the manufacturer breached an implied warranty and a duty to warn
  • Reinerio v. Bank of New York Mellon, No. 16-1181 (8th Cir. Aug. 23, 2016) (unpublished): affirmance of a judgment granting a motion to dismiss in a wrongful-foreclosure case
  • McNearney v. LTF Club Operations Co. Inc., d/b/a Life Time Fitness, 486 S.W.3d 396 (Mo. App. E.D. 2016): affirmance of summary judgment in favor of fitness club based on (1) exculpatory language contained in member usage agreement, which barred negligence claim; and (2) plaintiff’s failure to state a claim for recklessness
  • Reinerio v. Bank of New York Mellon, No. 15-8018 (8th Cir. Dec. 23, 2015): granting of motion to dismiss interlocutory appeal in wrongful foreclosure case
  • Carden v. CSM Foreclosure Trustee Corp., 479 S.W.3d 164 (Mo. App. S.D. 2015): granting of motions to strike appellants’ brief and dismiss appeal
  • Cook v. SSM Health Care St. Louis, 2015 IL App (5th) 140319-U (Ill. App. 5th Dist. Jun. 1, 2015): affirmance of dismissal of medical malpractice action
  • Tipton v. Madison Cnty., 2015 IL App (5th) 140186-U (Ill. App. 5th Dist. May 11, 2015): affirmance of denial of application for change of zoning in property dispute
  • Ambers-Phillips v. SSM DePaul Health Ctr., 459 S.W.3d 901 (Mo. banc 2015): affirmance of dismissal of medical malpractice action and re-affirmance of constitutionality of 10-year statute of repose
  • Hellmann v. Sparks, 500 S.W.3d 252 (Mo. App. S.D. 2015): affirmance of judgment upholding authority of homeowners’ association in complex property dispute
  • Huon v. Mudge, 597 Fed. Appx. 868 (7th Cir. 2015): affirmance of award of summary judgment in favor of sheriff’s department and state’s attorney in false arrest action brought by former criminal defendant
  • Scheffel Fin. Services, Inc. v. Heil, 16 N.E.3d 385 (Ill. App. 5th Dist. 2014): affirmance of award of preliminary injunction enforcing non-solicitation clause of employment agreement
  • Wright v. Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp., 440 S.W.3d 568 (Mo. App. E.D. 2014): affirmance of summary judgment granted for defendant in statutory garnishment action
  • Baker v. Stiverson, 2014 IL App (5th) 120585-U (Ill. App. 5th Dist. May 8, 2014): affirmance of judgment entered upon a jury verdict finding sheriff’s deputies not liable on excessive force claim
  • Balloons Over the Rainbow, Inc. v. Dir. of Revenu, 427 S.W.3d 815 (Mo. banc 2014): reversal of decision attempting to impose Missouri taxes upon Balloons for rides purchased by flight certificate from out-of-state third-party vendors
  • Willits v. Peabody Coal Co., 134 S. Ct. 919 (2014): filed brief successfully opposing petition for writ of certiorari in U.S. Supreme Court
  • Wuelling v. SSM Health Care St. Louis, 419 S.W.3d 157 (Mo. App. E.D. 2013): affirmance of defense verdict in medical malpractice action
  • Envirotech, Inc. v. Christian Hosp., 416 S.W.3d 830 (Mo. App. E.D. 2013): affirmance of dismissal
  • Jamestowne Homeowners Assn. Trustees v. Jackson, 417 S.W.3d 348 (Mo. App. E.D. 2013): affirmance of judgment in dispute regarding delinquent assessments
  • Lillicrap v. Link-Belt Constr. Equip. Co., No. 12SL-CC00308 (St. Louis Cnty, Mo. Nov. 12-22, 2013): lead trial counsel teamed with appellate counsel “in residence” during trial and limited damages assessable against our clients to less than 5% of amount requested from jury
  • Smith-Silk v. Prenzler, 998 N.E.2d 680 (Ill. App. 5th Dist. 2013): affirmance of judgment in favor of county treasurer after dismissal of proposed class action
  • Hewitt v. Kirk’s Remodeling & Custom Homes, Inc., 310 P.3d 436 (Kan. App. 2013): reversal of summary judgment in contract dispute involving statute of limitations defense
  • Burbridge v. Union Pac. R. Co., 413 S.W.3d 649 (Mo. App. E.D. 2013): affirmance of defense verdict in personal injury action
  • Buehrle v. City of O’Fallon, 695 F.3d 807 (8th Cir. 2012): affirmance of summary judgment in favor of City of O’Fallon in suit alleging discrimination based on age and claiming employer retaliation for exercising free speech rights and rights under Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Green v. Dormire, 691 F.3d 917 (8th Cir. 2012): affirmance of summary judgment in Section 1983 action
  • Avichail ex rel. T.A. v. St. John’s Mercy Health Sys., 686 F.3d 548 (8th Cir. 2012): affirmance of judgment in favor of hospital in medical malpractice case involving Batson challenge
  • Dunn v. Nexgrill Indus., Inc., 636 F.3d 1049 (8th Cir. 2011): affirmance of summary judgment in favor of grill manufacturer after successfully striking or limiting the testimony of all three of plaintiffs’ retained experts
  • St. Charles Tower, Inc. v. Kurtz, 643 F.3d 264 (8th Cir. 2011): reversal of order denying homeowners association’s request to set aside consent judgment in cell tower case under Telecommunications Act of 1996
  • Shaw v. St. John’s Hospital, 953 N.E.2d 928 (Ill. 2011): Illinois Supreme Court granted motion for supervisory order directing Appellate Court (5th Dist.) to hear interlocutory appeal
  • Kawasaki Heavy Indus., Ltd. v. Bombardier Recreational Prods., Inc., 660 F.3d 988 (7th Cir. 2011): reversal of order denying motion to dismiss or stay claims pending arbitration
  • Willits v. Peabody Coal Co., 332 S.W.3d 260 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010): affirmance of summary judgment in favor of energy company in royalty dispute
  • Wetzler v. Barnes-Jewish Hosp., 321 S.W.3d 447 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010): affirmance of summary judgment in case involving fear of contracting AIDS from surgical implant
  • Dilworth v. Murdock, 314 S.W.3d 392 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010): affirmance of defense verdict in medical negligence case alleging surgical error
  • Kozeny Wagner, Inc. v. Simplex Grinnell, LP, 330 S.W.3d 507 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010): affirmance of summary judgment in favor of subcontractor denying prejudgment interest
  • Kaminski v. Bremner, Inc., 281 S.W.3d 298 (Ky. App. 2009): affirmance of defense verdict in favor of employer accused of retaliatory termination of employee

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2016 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved. Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard a law firm with a primary office located in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Website Design by Timmermann Group