Wystan Ackerman

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Wystan Ackerman is a partner in Robinson+Cole’s Appellate Team. Wystan is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal courts of appeals. He has briefed and argued appeals in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court, has successfully petitioned the SJC for further appellate review, and has also litigated interlocutory appeals before the Single Justice of the Appeals Court. He takes pride in writing briefs that are succinct and compelling, and preparing thoroughly for oral arguments. Wystan is often asked by his colleagues to serve as a “moot court” judge in practice arguments.

Wystan has also handled matters in the Supreme Court of the United States. He successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013), in which the Court unanimously rejected a plaintiff’s attempt to evade federal jurisdiction by stipulating that the amount sought would not exceed the $5 million threshold under the Class Action Fairness Act.

Wystan’s appellate practice is national in scope. Many of his appeals have involved class action and insurance cases. He has served as appellate counsel in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as in various state appellate and supreme courts. Wystan also regularly files amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in federal and state appellate courts. He currently chairs the Appellate Section of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC). Wystan has been listed as a Second Circuit Litigation Star in Benchmark Appellate (2013) and is listed in Benchmark Litigation (2013-2015).

Wystan received his B.A., summa cum laude, in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Wystan received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a member of the Columbia Law Review.

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Washington v. Trump: Insights for Appellate Lawyers

Is there anything appellate lawyers can learn from the recent high-profile telephonic oral argument held in the Ninth Circuit in Washington v. Trump? A Defense Research Institute Appellate Advocacy Committee teleconference recently endeavored to answer that question. The speakers were Mary Massaron and Jerry Ganzfried, and the moderator was Keith Whitson. Here are a few … Continue Reading

What Will The Courtrooms Of The 2020s Look Like?

I recently attended a presentation by futurist Michael Rogers that sparked me to think about what the courtrooms of the 2020s might look like. According to Rogers, one of the next big advances in technology will be augmented reality devices, such as smart glasses. Google previewed that with its “Google glass” product, which was unsuccessful … Continue Reading

Supreme Judicial Court: Further Appellate Review or Direct Appellate Review?

Lawyers with little or no experience in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court may not be familiar with the two routes to review by the SJC, and how the chances of obtaining review can differ significantly between the two procedures. An application for direct appellate review, sometimes abbreviated as DAR, asks the SJC to hear a … Continue Reading

Appellate Strategies: Oral Argument Tips From Recent ABA Program

I recently listened to an ABA Section of Litigation Roundtable entitled ““Appellate Practice: How to Grab, Keep, and Kill the Panel’s Attention During Oral Argument.”  The program featured advice from Judge Andre Davis, Senior Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Judge Kem Frost, Chief Justice of the Fourteenth Court … Continue Reading

Appellate Strategies: Massachusetts Appeals Court Single Justice Practice

  Recently we covered the basics of interlocutory appeals to a single justice of the Massachusetts Appeals. Court. Here are some thoughts on how you can improve your chances of obtaining review: Highlight why the issue presented is an important one not only for your case, but for other pending cases, or the development of the … Continue Reading