Appellate Litigation & Counsel

Nick Acedo is an accomplished appellate attorney who leads the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. His practice focuses on appellate litigation and strategic counseling, with an emphasis on defending government entities and employees and their private partners. Nick represents government at every level—federal, state, county, city, and town.  He specializes in resolving difficult constitutional and statutory issues, including those involved in 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Bivens litigation, and has repeatedly and successfully defended claims against law enforcement and corrections officers alleging excessive force, unlawful pursuit, unlawful practice or policy, false arrest, malicious prosecution, coercion, conspiracy, fabricated evidence, state-created danger, failure to protect, failure to provide medical care, retaliation, wrongful death, assault and battery, gross negligence, negligence, and negligent hiring, training, and supervision.

Nick’s practice extends well beyond preparing appellate briefs and oral argument and includes developing case strategies for trial lawyers, drafting complex and dispositive lower-court motions, and providing counsel on discrete legal issues.  He is also heavily involved in the firm’s class-action litigation.

Nick began his legal career as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona in the Criminal Appeals Section. His past achievements include being recognized as an Emerging Star in the Criminal Division in 2007, and co-representing the State of Arizona in Arizona v. Gant before the United States Supreme Court. After five years in the criminal appeals arena, Nick shifted his practice to civil appeals, handling a wide variety of appellate and trial litigation, including government liability, insurance defense, medical and professional malpractice, class actions, wrongful death, prisoner litigation, and constitutional law.

Nick has handled more than 100 appeals at all levels of the state and federal appellate courts, and has argued cases before the Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the New Mexico Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court, and the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Published Appellate Decisions:

  • Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. 332 (2009)
  • B.K. v. Snyder, 922 F.3d 957 (9th Cir. 2019)
  • Parsons v. Ryan, 912 F.3d 486 (9th Cir. 2018)
  • Blaisdell v. Frappiea, 729 F.3d 1237 (9th Cir. 2013)
  • Labatad v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 714 F.3d 1155 (9th Cir. 2013)
  • Marquez v. City of Phoenix, 693 F.3d 1167 (9th Cir. 2012)
  • Doe v. United States, 831 F.3d 309 (5th Cir. 2016)
  • Ryan v. Napier, 245 Ariz. 54, 425 P.3d 230 (2018)
  • Glazer v. State, 237 Ariz. 160, 347 P.3d 1141 (2015)
  • State v. Smith, 219 Ariz. 132, 194 P.3d 399 (2008)
  • State v. Price, 217 Ariz. 182, 171 P.3d 1223 (2007)
  • State v. Brown, 212 Ariz. 225, 129 P.3d 947 (2006)
  • State v. Henderson, 210 Ariz. 561, 115 P.3d 601 (2005)
  • Stair v. Maricopa County, 245 Ariz. 357, 429 P.3d 1151 (App. 2018)
  • Pinal County v. Fuller, 245 Ariz. 337, 429 P.3d 570 (App. 2018)
  • Hogue v. City of Phoenix, 240 Ariz. 277, 378 P.3d 720 (App. 2016)
  • Arpaio v. Figueroa, 229 Ariz. 444, 276 P.3d 513 (App. 2012)
  • Best Choice Fund, LLC v. Low & Childers, P.C., 228 Ariz. 502, 269 P.3d 678 (App. 2011)
  • State v. Far West Water & Sewer, Inc., 224 Ariz. 173, 228 P.3d 909 (App. 2010)
  • Ad Hoc Comm. of Parishioners of Our Lady of the Sun Catholic Church, Inc. v. Reiss, 223 Ariz. 505, 224 P.3d 1002 (App. 2010)
  • Gamboa v. Metzler, 223 Ariz. 399, 224 P.3d 215 (App. 2010)
  • Perotti v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 290 P.3d 403 (Alaska 2013)

Additional Representative Appellate Decisions:

  • Elgamal v. Bernacke, 714 F. App’x 741 (9th Cir. 2018) (affirming dismissal of Bivens claim against USCIS officer)
  • Adkins v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 681 F. App’x 579 (9th Cir. 2017)  (affirming dismissal of twenty one inmates’    § 1983 excessive force claims)
  • Terry v. Newell, 667 F. App’x 257 (9th Cir. 2016) (affirming dismissal of Bivens claims against ATF Agents)
  • Fernandez v. Virgillo, 651 F. App’x 692 (9th Cir. 2016) (affirming dismissal of § 1983 excessive force and failure-to-intervene claims against police officer)
  • Corrales v. Impastato, 650 F. App’x 540 (9th Cir. 2016) (affirming dismissal of § 1983 excessive force claim against police officer)
  • Scotti v. City of Phoenix, 609 F. App’x 386 (9th Cir. 2015) (affirming dismissal of § 1983 malicious prosecution claim against detective)
  • Armendariz v. Mohave County, 1 CA-CV 15-0571, 2017 WL 587089 (Ariz. App. Feb. 14, 2017) (affirming dismissal of negligent road design claim)
  • City of Phoenix v. Ronan, 1 CA-SA 13-0009, 2014 WL 1233668 (Ariz. App. Mar. 25, 2014) (granting special-action relief and dismissing state law malicious prosecution claim against detective)

Presentations and Publications:

  • Moderator, Arizona Supreme Court Review (State Bar), “A View from the Inside: Conversation with Court Staff,” 2019
  • Co-Presenter, Eleventh Annual Summer Education Series (PRIMA), “Updates in the Law: Recent Decisions Impacting Government Entities & Employees,” 2019
  • Panelist, 2019 State Bar Convention Seminar, “The Art and Science of Oral Argument”
  • Co-Presenter, Twenty-Second Annual Public Practice Legal Seminar, “The Evolution of Qualified Immunity: Past, Present, and Future,” 2019
  • Moderator, State Bar of Arizona, Appellate Practice Section, “Appeals From Administrative Decisions,” 2018
  • Moderator, State Bar of Arizona, Appellate Practice Section, “Winning at the Lectern,” 2018
  • Co-Chair, 2018 State Bar Convention Seminar, First Mondays Live Podcast – A Recap of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 Term and Its Most Anticipated Opinions (President’s Award Recipient)
  • Presenter, Twentieth Annual Public Practice Legal Seminar, “An Appellate Perspective on Case Strategy,” 2017
  • Presenter, Firm Client Seminar, “Motion Practice: Timing is Everything!” 2016
  • Presenter, League of Arizona Cities and Town’s Municipal Attorneys’ CLE, “Recent Developments in Appellate Case Law,” 2016
  • Moderator, State Bar of Arizona, Appellate Practice Section, “The Appellate Roundtables: Revisited,” 2015
  • Moderator, State Bar of Arizona, Appellate Practice Section, “Up Close and Personal: The Appellate Roundtables,” 2015
  • Presenter, Sixteenth Annual Public Practice Legal Seminar, “Recent Issues Facing Our Jails,” 2013


Nick enjoys traveling to Omaha, Nebraska for the College Baseball World Series.