Appellate Insights

Mar 11, 2021 Alana H. Rotter
Should I Answer That?

Upon receiving a writ petition seeking interlocutory appellate review, the real party in interest must make a strategic decision: whether to file a preliminary opposition, or wait to see if the Court of Appeal will summarily deny the petition on its own.  Here are some factors to inform that decision:

  • Most writ petitions are summarily denied.
  • Ordinarily, if the Court of Appeal is considering granting a writ petition and has not received a preliminary opposition, it will call for a response before taking any further steps.  The exception might be in a truly urgent case.
  • But, where a writ petition omits material facts, misstates the law, or ignores an obvious ground for denying relief, a preliminary opposition can help take the wind out of the petition’s sails.

►  The practical message:  There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to addressing a writ petition.  But instead of reflexively responding, consider carefully whether the time and expense are warranted.