The Complex Appellate Litigation Group has announced that accomplished appellate lawyer Mary-Christine (“M.C.”) Sungaila has joined the firm, further raising the firm’s national profile and expanding its California footprint to Orange County. Sungaila previously led or co-led national appellate practice groups at AmLaw100 and AmLaw150 firms. Her move has been widely reported in the legal press, from Law360 to California’s The Recorder and Daily Journal legal newspapers.
The arrival of Sungaila follows other high-profile hires in recent years, including that of Rex Heinke – former co-head of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s nationally renowned Supreme Court and Appellate practice.
Recognized by the Daily Journal as one of the state’s top boutique law firms, the Complex Appellate Litigation Group has a deep bench of experienced practitioners who specialize in appeals, appellate writs, amicus briefs, state and U.S. Supreme Court petitions and briefs, and litigation consulting.
“M.C. is a strategic thinker and talented practitioner with a track record of briefing and arguing complex appeals that have addressed groundbreaking and fundamental business issues,” said Ben Feuer, chairman and co-founder of the Complex Appellate Litigation Group. “Her work in California and on the national stage is a perfect fit for our firm as we continue to serve clients across the country and eye expansion beyond California. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the team.”
Sungaila’s work involves handling cutting-edge issues in employment, class action, product liability, franchisor, probate, and constitutional law. She has also developed special expertise in appeals involving Holocaust art recovery. She has handled appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, multiple state supreme courts, numerous federal and state appellate courts, and even the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
“In just 10 years, the Complex Appellate Litigation Group has assembled an all-star team of practitioners, many of whom are fellow bar leaders,” Sungaila said. “I’m excited to join the firm at this time of growth and look forward to supporting the firm’s national expansion.”
Sungaila has been recognized by Chambers and Partners for the past 11 years, is regularly recognized by the Daily Journal as one of California’s 100 Leading Women Lawyers, and has been recognized twice with a California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award. Her work includes arguing before the California Supreme Court in the precedent-setting franchisor vicarious liability case Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza and filing an amicus brief in the current U.S. Supreme Court case In re Grand Jury on behalf of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel.
Sungaila has earned the respect of a wide range of industry peers. “There’s no finer appellate lawyer than M.C., whether it’s writing persuasive briefs, persuading the court at oral argument, or guiding trial counsel on strategy that could impact a possible appeal,” said Jennifer L. Keller, a nationally recognized trial lawyer and partner at Keller/Anderle LLP. “She is respected and admired by a wide range of people in the legal community, including appellate judges. And M.C.’s humanitarian and pro bono work has made a huge impact on many lives.”
Outside of her appellate practice, Sungaila is regularly recognized for her commitment to community service and pro bono work. She was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor – whose recipients include seven U.S. presidents, Nobel Prize winners and others.