Appellate Insights

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 deserves careful assessment to determine its appealability (or reviewability by writ).

5. Is an order appointing a receiver appealable?
YES. It’s on the list of orders made appealable by Code of Civil Procedure §904.1.

4. Is an order granting or denying a motion to disqualify counsel appealable?
YES as to both. But depending on the circumstances, a writ petition combined with a stay may be the only meaningful avenue of relief.

3. Is a judgment for one defendant appealable, while other defendants remain in the case?
YES, as long as the judgment disposes of all claims against that one defendant.

2. How about a judgment of contempt?
NO. By statute it is “conclusive” and not appealable. A strong (and fast) writ petition is the only potential remedy.

1. Is an order granting a nonsuit appealable?
YES, if it’s a written order, signed by the judge and filed.

The practical message: Whenever you suffer an important loss (or the other side does!), study the statutes controlling appealability, as well as the particular statute controlling the motion or application, and relevant cases. If you can’t reach certainty on whether it’s appealable, call someone who can, because the stakes are “do-or-die” – an expired right to appeal or to file a statutory writ petition cannot be revived.