Appellate Insights

May 14, 2019 Alana H. Rotter
This One Or That One?

Trial testimony may be perfectly clear to everyone in the courtroom—but appellate judges weren’t in the courtroom.  Make sure to create a record that’s intelligible to someone reading it after-the-fact: When witnesses gesture, translate their gestures into words.  (Witness:  “It was this high.”  Counsel:  “You’re

Apr 17, 2019 Laurie J. Hepler
E-Deadlines En Route To Appeal

Diligent lawyers plan for deadlines.  But that’s especially hard in California these days:  As more trial courts transition (at last) to all-electronic filing, glitches have been frequent, with numerous documents being rejected and filing-confirmation sometimes taking more than a week to arrive. So avoid deadline-day

Mar 15, 2019 Alana H. Rotter
The Times They Are A Changin’

Trial courts have a jurisdictional deadline for granting motions for a new trial, judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or to vacate the judgment.  Courts cannot grant relief after that deadline, so everyone involved must know when it is.  The deadline recently changed: The trial court’s power

Feb 18, 2019 Laurie J. Hepler
How Long Now?

Appeal to California’s intermediate court takes a long time. This affects everything from the interest that will accrue on a money judgment (10% per year in our state) to the parties’ practical ability to ride out the process. Here’s a snapshot from FY 2016-17 (the

Jan 15, 2019 Alana H. Rotter
Inside The Jury Room

Juror misconduct can be a basis for winning a new trial, but teeing the issue up correctly can be tricky.  Here are some of the key points: Juror misconduct is one of the few issues that must be raised in a new trial motion.  The

Nov 13, 2018 Alana H. Rotter
Halt!

Some judgments are automatically stayed pending appeal, but many are not.  If your client is facing an adverse judgment, it’s important to know which category the judgment falls into and what additional steps might be necessary to prevent enforcement while the appeal proceeds. The default

Oct 12, 2018 Laurie J. Hepler
Is This Appealable?

Time again for ASIC’s semi-regular quiz on orders that might be appealable (or not).  If you’re ever in the slightest doubt on this front, research it closely or consult a specialist.  Even one day past an appeal deadline means irremediable loss of jurisdiction in the

Sep 13, 2018 Alana H. Rotter
Attorneys Behaving Badly

Should you object to opposing counsel’s improper statements during closing argument?  This is a strategic decision based on multiple factors.  But remember one important consideration:  preserving the misconduct issue for appeal. The Court of Appeal will not consider a claim of closing argument misconduct unless

Aug 14, 2018 Laurie J. Hepler
Relax, It’s Preserved

August is supposed to bring some vacation time.  So for a change, how about a list of trial errors that you can argue on appeal with no objection in the record? Yes, all of the following errors (and more, but don’t get complacent!) are preserved

Jul 13, 2018 Alana H. Rotter
Count Every Vote

The moment the clerk announces the jury’s verdict can provide a rush of elation or profound disappointment.  Remind yourself in advance that, amidst the emotion, there is one thing that must be handled immediately if your client loses:  polling the jury. Polling the jury has

Who We Serve

PUBLIC ENTITIES

Whether on appeal, assisting trial counsel, or advising government officials contemplating legislative action, GMSR provides unique insight into the complex laws that impact public entities.

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INSURERS

Where coverage may exist, GMSR represents insureds on appeal effectively and efficiently. Where it does not, the firm protects insurers’ right to deny claims.

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BUSINESSES

GMSR offers corporate clients objective assessments on appeal, based on a deep understanding of the limitations and opportunities of appellate review.

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TRIAL COUNSEL

The firm’s lawyers are team players, collaborating with trial counsel at any level from legal strategy to writing or editing trial court motions and appellate briefs.

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GMSR vigorously advocates the rights of individual plaintiffs and defendants, in both state and federal appellate courts.

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