Appellate Insights

GMSR’s monthly appellate insights offer concise, timely guidance on appellate issues, and tips for avoiding common pitfalls at all stages of litigation.

Mar 28, 2024 Jeffrey E. Raskin
Tick Tock: Deadlines For Statutory Writs

It is easy to be lulled into a sense of security about the timing of writ petitions.  Generally, writ relief can be sought as long as you do not unreasonably delay, which typically means you should file within 60 days.  But when writ relief is

Feb 13, 2024 Alana H. Rotter
What Makes A Good Petition For Review?

Clients who lose in the Court of Appeal often ask about pursuing review in the California Supreme Court.  The Court grants just a small fraction of the petitions for review that it receives each year.  Here are some factors to consider in assessing the likelihood

Jan 12, 2024 Laurie J. Hepler
Arbitration Appeals No Longer Stay Litigation

Orders denying petitions to compel arbitration have long been, and remain, immediately appealable.  The California Supreme Court held long ago that such appeals automatically stay trial court proceedings. And the United States Supreme Court recently held that such a stay applies in federal courts as

Dec 13, 2023 Gary J. Wax
One Space or Two?

Before the Computer Age, writers were instructed to type two spaces after every period.  The reason was to create a visual break so that it would be easier to see the beginning of each new sentence.  Many attorneys who learned to follow the two-space rule

Nov 28, 2023 Jeffrey E. Raskin
Once Upon An Appellate Brief

The author of a brief must be both storyteller and teacher.  Judges read hundreds of briefs each year.  Capturing their interest and making principles clear and memorable is critical to persuasion. If your brief covers multiple, disparate legal issues, do not bog down your statement

Oct 10, 2023 Alana H. Rotter
Preventing Immediate Judgment Enforcement

California judgments are enforceable upon entry.  True, posting a bond can stay enforcement of money judgments during an appeal.  But what about during the post-judgment motion phase, before an appeal is filed?  And what about clients who need time to get a bond in place? 

Sep 12, 2023 Laurie J. Hepler
Pictures In Appellate Briefs

There are some points that only a photograph or other image can effectively convey, and others that a photo or image conveys far more powerfully than words can.  While appellate briefs should not routinely contain pictures (and almost never more than one or two), counsel

Aug 09, 2023 Gary J. Wax
How To Use Your Appellate Lawyer During Trial

During a complex trial, there often aren’t enough hours in the day for litigators to accomplish every task.  To help alleviate your burden, consider including a lawyer with appellate expertise (sometimes called “legal issues counsel”) on your team.  Whether you win or lose at trial,

Jul 14, 2023 Jeffrey E. Raskin
Judging the Judge: Judicial Disqualification

In most appeals, the best practice is to deemphasize direct criticism of the trial court judge.  That is more difficult—and perhaps the opposite of what you should do—when arguing that the judge should be disqualified for cause.  How should you approach disqualification issues? Have an eye on appellate review at the brainstorming stage.  Time is

Jun 17, 2023 Laurie J. Hepler
Can I Cite This Unpublished Decision?

Every lawyer confronts the problem: a helpful decision that’s “not officially published.”  What to do?  The answer depends on which court issued the decision, and when.  Assuming (as ASIC always does) that you’re briefing to a California state court, here are the rules, and the

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