Bien & Summers’ practice is focused exclusively on civil appeals in the federal and state courts, where our attorneys bring more than four decades of combined experience handling appeals at all levels of complexity and sophistication. Click here to view our range of services .
Originally formed as a partnership in 1990 and now operating as a sole proprietorship, Bien & Summers has been one of California's most prominent, respected, and successful civil appellate specialty firms. In July of 2012 Bien & Summers was named one of the top nine appellate practices in California by The Recorder.
Firm co-founder Elliot L. Bien has handled civil appeals since 1975 and has limited his practice to that field since 1982. A graduate of Columbia Law School with an LL.M. from Harvard, Elliot's recognition as a leading appellate advocate includes his presidency of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and membership in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has represented leading manufacturers, banks, REITS, insurers, other corporations, national advocacy groups, professional firms of every kind, and individuals in a wide variety of personal or business disputes. Click here for full scope of experience.
Following the retirement of co-founder E. Elizabeth Summers, who had been a leading appellate practitioner since 1975, Elliot was joined in his practice by Amy E. Margolin, who was formerly a director at a preeminent San Francisco law firm where she practiced exclusively in civil appeals. A graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School, Amy has nearly 15 years of experience in civil appellate litigation, including a decade as a member of the Appellate Practice Group of (former) Howard Rice Canady Falk & Rabkin in San Francisco. Since 2007, Amy has been recognized in the annual Super Lawyers survey of Law & Politics as among the top five percent of lawyers practicing in Northern California in the area of civil appeals.
Jocelyn Sperling joined the firm in 2012. Jocelyn was a Staff Attorney for four years at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and a Legal Research Attorney at the Alameda County Superior Court. She was previously an associate at Traber & Voorhees in Pasadena, where she was named a Southern California Rising Star in Super Lawyers. Jocelyn graduated Order of the Coif in 2000 from UCLA School of Law and clerked for Judge Richard A. Paez of the Ninth Circuit,
Finally, the firm has a longstanding commitment to ethics and professionalism in appellate practice. Elliot is one of California's leading advocates for those values and the firm takes them to heart. Indeed, we take our motto, "appellate counsel," to mean an officer of appellate courts. We believe the privilege of appearing in the highest courts imposes a duty to act in the highest traditions of our profession.
Bien & Summers was profiled in an April 2012 article in the Daily Journal, "Quiet Zone."