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.

Sep 11, 2019 Alana H. Rotter
Hurry up!

The Code of Civil Procedure’s expedited jury trial framework can be an attractive option for resolving a case quickly and economically.  But be aware that the expedited procedure requires giving up important post-trial and appellate rights: By agreeing to expedited process, the parties forfeit motions

Aug 13, 2019 Laurie J. Hepler
Get It In Writing

From the appellate court’s perspective, “if it isn’t in the record, it didn’t happen.”  And California trial courts stopped providing reporters for most civil cases years ago.  While everyone knows that a reporter is crucial at trial to ensure an adequate appellate record, there are

Jul 16, 2019 Alana H. Rotter
Are You Satisfied?

Can a defendant who plans to appeal only part of a judgment pay the non-challenged portion of the judgment without risk of waiving its right to appeal the rest?  A newly-enacted statute (Code of Civil Procedure 695.215) clarifies the answer: “Payment in satisfaction of a

Jun 20, 2019 Laurie J. Hepler
Error Alone

Trial court error alone is almost never enough to reverse a civil judgment.  In almost all cases, a civil appellant must also show prejudice from any error, i.e. a reasonable likelihood of a more favorable result if the error hadn’t occurred. But as usual, there

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

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

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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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