Appellate Insights

Jun 15, 2017 Laurie J. Hepler
Get To The Point

What if no email you received had a Subject line?  What if writers only told you what they needed somewhere in the middle?  And how about a news article that goes on too long, sprinkled with “color words” that make you question its reliability? This

May 11, 2017 Alana H. Rotter
Avoiding Record Holes On Appeal

Videotaped deposition excerpts can be helpful or even essential at trial.  But because court reporters are not legally required to transcribe them, they can leave holes in the appellate record and a video clip won’t count as “substantial evidence” on appeal if the appellate court

Apr 26, 2017 Laurie J. Hepler
Is This Appealable?

It’s April, and time for ASIC’s semi-annual installment of “Is This Appealable?” — a selection of adverse orders that arise frequently for trial counsel and litigants. As usual, these answers apply 95% of the time in California state courts; there are sometimes exceptions. 5. Is

Mar 09, 2017 Alana H. Rotter
Dismissing Claims To Hasten An Appeal

A trial court ruling that resolves some causes of action but not others is not immediately appealable.  Parties sometimes try to hasten appellate review of a key ruling by dismissing the remaining, unadjudicated claims and asking the trial court enter a final judgment.  But the

Feb 14, 2017 Laurie J. Hepler
Don’t Dive In—Wade

Appellate justices are generalists.  Last week on a single Court of Appeal calendar, I listened to arguments that debated whether the justices should: Require a retroactive increase in child support; Reverse a personal injury judgment for re-trial, due to the improper discharge of a juror;

Jan 12, 2017 Alana H. Rotter
Another Bite At The 170.6 Apple?

Most California litigators know Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 gives each side one opportunity at the outset of a case to have the case reassigned to a different judge.  But fewer know that section 170.6 also permits a peremptory challenge after some appellate reversals

Dec 16, 2016 Laurie J. Hepler
A Holiday Poem

Hone your prose and keep it short As you approach appellate court Prune the verbiage, Pitch your story! Yacking earns you zero glory   Hook ’em soon with why you win Own the high road, limit spin Lead with strength and deal with snags Inspire

Nov 15, 2016 Alana H. Rotter
Be Careful What You Agree To

Stipulations and other agreements can be an efficient and even helpful way to move a case along in the trial court.  But be wary of being too agreeable:  Under the invited error doctrine, a party that stipulates to a piece of evidence coming in or

Oct 18, 2016 Laurie J. Hepler
Is This Appealable?

It’s time again for that high-stakes question: is this appealable?  As longtime readers know, failure to timely notice an appeal means permanent and usually irreparable loss of the appeal right.  So twice a year, I run through some examples to illustrate the many ways this

Sep 13, 2016 Alana H. Rotter
What Do You Want?

Every appellate brief urges the court to rule in the briefing party’s favor.  But far fewer briefs say exactly how the court should do so, and why.  That lack of specificity is a mistake.  A party’s job on appeal is to make it as easy

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