Q. How much would the Madden Law Group (MLG) charge to assess the merits of my legal issue?
A. We do not charge for an assessment of a potential client's claim.
Q. Can I afford to hire MLG?
A. We create fee arrangements that work both for our clients and the Firm. You should not let concerns over cost stop you from contacting us.
Q. How can MLG compete with large-box, litigation shops?
A. We excel in cases involving high-stakes or high-profile matters that require the ability to analyze, brief, and argue complex or novel legal issues at the trial and appellate levels. Jerry Madden and Virginia Hoptman are top-shelf appellate advocates. They are also accomplished trial attorneys. However, because the Firm is a boutique by design, it carefully evaluates cases involving large numbers of documents or witnesses—although such engagements are not categorically declined.
Q. Does it matter that MLG is not located in the community in which I live or where my suit would be litigated?
A. No. Although MLG focuses on appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Federal, Fourth (Richmond) and Sixth (Cincinnati) Circuits, we have represented clients in all thirteen federal circuit courts of appeals. We accepts trial cases in the federal courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. We also represent clients in state trial and appellate courts of Maryland and Virginia.
Q. In a suit against the government, is there an advantage in retaining counsel who previously has represented the government in similar cases?
A. Yes. Retaining an attorney who has litigated claims on behalf of the government in case like yours is a big plus. Such attorneys have first-hand, inside knowledge of how the government approaches such cases. It's the reason attorneys who have litigated for the government are so highly prized in government cases.
A. Yes. While a trial and appellate litigator at the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, Jerry Madden successfully represented the United States in contract actions seeking hundreds of millions of dollars.
Q. Does MLG have expertise in litigating negligence cases against the government?
A. Yes. While at the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Torts Branch, Jerry Madden represented the United States in negligence actions seeking millions of dollars in damages. Tort claims against the government must be brought exclusively under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Although the merits of negligence claims are decided under the state law where a claim arose, the FTCA contains numerous exceptions to the waiver of the government's sovereign immunity. An attorney must be able to navigate through these exceptions to avoid dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.
Q. Why should I consider MLG to represent me on appeal instead of using my trial counsel?
A. In a typical case, most clients ask their trial counsel to represent them on appeal. That makes sense intuitively because trial counsel will be familiar with the factual record and the legal arguments made by the parties. Using trial counsel as appellate counsel does have its drawbacks, however. Trial counsel almost universally become bonded with their view of the facts and the apparently relevant legal principles. They are unlikely to change these views on appeal.
But, often, issues that seemed all important at trial may be less important on appeal. Blind attempts at vindication on appeal is not an optimal approach. Experienced appellate counsel possess different skills than experienced and successful trial lawyers. A lawyer brilliant at cross-examination or at arguing to a jury may not possess the skills needed for effective appellate representation.
Appellate lawyers must be gifted writers who are also particularly skilled at teasing out the nuances of the law and experts at synthesizing a voluminous factual record into a smaller universe relevant to the appeal.
Two approaches beyond simply asking trial counsel to handle the appeal should be considered. First, when the stakes are particularly high, appellate counsel should be retained to prepare and litigate the appeal with an assist from trial counsel. In other cases, it may be sufficient to bring in appellate counsel to take a “fresh look” in support of trial counsel remaining counsel of record on appeal. Either way, obtaining a “fresh look” or “second look” about the best issues to appeal and the best overall approach to the appeal is wise.
Q. In what other areas of the law do MLG attorneys have substantive expertise?