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.

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

Aug 15, 2016 Laurie J. Hepler
Two Cliffs

Very few deadlines in civil practice are “jurisdictional,” i.e. if you miss it, the right is irretrievably lost. Many California lawyers know that the deadline to notice an appeal is one of them.  It comes 60 days after service of a notice of entry of

Appealing Anti-Slapp Rulings in the Ninth Circuit

In the California state courts, every order granting or denying an anti-SLAPP motion is immediately appealable. But anti-SLAPP appealability is more of a minefield in the Ninth Circuit. There, an anti-SLAPP ruling is appealable only if it satisfies the requirements of the “collateral order doctrine”

Jun 10, 2016 Laurie J. Hepler
An End to Automatic Depublication

Under current rules, the California Supreme Court’s decision to review a published appellate opinion automatically “depublishes” that opinion while review is pending — making it non-citable. This approach causes problems.  It eliminates useful discussions of un-reviewed issues.  And when the reviewable conflict among districts arises

May 13, 2016 Alana H. Rotter
Handling Bad Law

When drafting an opening brief on appeal, it can be tempting to avoid adverse authority — and on a first read, the brief might appear stronger that way. That’s wishful thinking. As Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner has observed, “The ostrich is a noble animal,

Apr 21, 2016 Laurie J. Hepler
Is This Appealable?

Each April and October, ASIC brings you a selection of the orders that litigants may win or lose – requiring both sides to know each other’s options for review. These answers apply 95% of the time in California state courts, but every major interlocutory order

Apr 05, 2016 Laurie J. Hepler
Resolve to Say Less

Commit to succinctness. Swear off at least the top 10% of any court’s word-limit for a brief – and more would be better. Remember, that limit is the maximum the court will accept; not the length the court wants to see. Here’s a chorus to

Mar 17, 2016 Laurie J. Hepler
A Grand Transition

Can anyone remember a time when an appellate judgeship has so dominated the news? It’s easy to see why: the stakes are nothing less than the ideological balance of the highest American court for at least the next generation. In an election year, no less.

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