Appellate Insights

Nov 13, 2018 Alana H. Rotter

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

Jun 13, 2018 Laurie J. Hepler
Briefs In The Wild

It’s always been true that appeals can make common law, so that litigants must vet their arguments with that prospect in mind.  But in the era of Big Data, consider also that appeals leave an electronic “trail”—with briefs routinely uploaded to Westlaw, often posted on

May 15, 2018 Alana H. Rotter
Last Chance

Lawyers who’ve just lost a jury trial often ask whether they need to file a new trial motion before appealing.  The answer is case-specific, but there are a few arguments that should almost always be raised via a new trial motion if the record supports

Apr 12, 2018 Laurie J. Hepler
Finish Strong

Every appellate opinion must have a “disposition,” in which the court formally resolves the appeal.  Sometimes the disposition is a final judgment for one side, whether affirming or reversing the judgment below.  But many times, the court directs further proceedings on remand to the trial

Mar 14, 2018 Alana H. Rotter
Prove it!

When the trial court excludes evidence important to your case, making an offer of proof is critical to preserving the issue for appellate review.  Otherwise, the appellate court will not know what was excluded, much less why its exclusion was prejudicial—a fundamental requirement for reversal. 

Feb 08, 2018 Laurie J. Hepler
Think Like The Reader

Appellate justices and staff attorneys who don’t know your case will have to decide it.  Make it easier for them: step outside your box and consider the case from their perspective. You know your facts and issues.  The case interests you, and since you’re prosecuting

Who We Serve


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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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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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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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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