When Federal Appellate Courts Certify State Law Questions

Federal Appellate Courts Certify State Law at the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Courts of Appeals are frequently called upon to interpret questions that arise in state law. Although they generally have the authority to do so, appellate judges may choose another route: certification. By certifying questions of state law, Federal Appellate Courts judges can respect federalism while gaining the information needed to issue an opinion. Certification […]

The Writ of Coram Vobis: Appellate Law’s Most Underrated Tool?

Appellate Lawyer Petitioning for Writ of Coram Vobis

A trial court hands down its judgment, to the disappointment of your client. A post-trial motion for new trial is denied, prompting an appeal. During the pendency of the appeal, certain facts come to light that would have virtually guaranteed a new trial. Does the losing party have any recourse? In certain circumstances, the losing […]

How Violating Court Orders May Affect Your Appeal

judge gavel, concept of how violating court orders affects your appeal

Valid court orders have to be followed – period. A party can dislike and disagree with an order. And there are various methods of relief that may be available. But if all avenues fail, the parties are ultimately bound by the trial court’s order. In the event a party decides to violate that order, its […]

Settling During The Appeal: Factors to Consider

lawyers shaking hands, concept of settling during the appeal

Appealing a trial court decision can make it seem like a case will never end. In reality, however, cases can and often do settle while on appeal. Part of appellate strategy is helping the client understand and navigate settlement at this stage. Gusdorff Law handles state and federal appeals in California. We also provide appellate […]

How Do Appellate Oral Arguments Differ From Trial Arguments?

Attorney giving appellate oral arguments

Both trial and appellate attorneys are given the chance to present their arguments in the courtroom. But this is where the similarities largely end. The manner in which arguments are given, and their content, varies dramatically between the two forums. While an attorney may be exceptional at presenting trial arguments, a different skill set is […]

How Appellate Counsel Can Add Cost-Effective Value To A Client’s Case

trial lawyer consulting with appellate counsel about California civil appeal

Deciding to appeal an unfavorable trial court judgment or order is a serious undertaking of time and money. But a client does not have to wait until the end of trial to consult appellate counsel. Often circumstances may warrant bringing an appellate lawyer into the case much earlier than the post-trial stage. Doing so offers […]

Appeal Versus A New Trial: What Clients Need To Know

Judge hitting gavel, concept of appeal versus new trial

Clients often and erroneously view appeals as new trials. Despite this confusion, however, it is possible to ask for a new trial if the circumstances justify it. The differences between the two should be explained up front so the client understands what to expect. Working with counsel, the client can make an informed choice of […]

Managing Client Expectations Of The Appeals Process

Judge gavel and book about litigation and appeals process

Whether in state or federal court, civil appeals are unlike anything a client will face in the court system. Both trial and appellate lawyers are well advised to know their respective roles and even their limitations. But managing client expectations is altogether more difficult, since most lay persons are largely unfamiliar with the courts. Doing […]

Understanding The Role Of Stare Decisis In California Courts

stare decisis - precedent

Consistency is one of the most important values of our judicial system. Without steady, reliable, and (reasonably) predictable decisions, the courts would be in disarray. The doctrine of stare decisis is one method of ensuring this value is upheld. Stare decisis is a legal principle that requires courts to adhere to precedent in rendering their […]

Everything You Need to Know About the Clerk’s Transcript in the Record on Appeal

The Clerk’s Transcript in the Record on Appeal

The appellate record plays an essential role in any California Court of Appeal matter. A complete and accurate record is critical to ensuring your appeal is adequately and fairly considered. The clerk’s transcript is one form of the written record that satisfies this requirement. No matter the nature or complexity of your civil appeal, you […]

What Happens If You File Your Appellate Brief After Its Deadline?

Filing an appellate brief after the deadline

California’s rules of appellate court procedure allow some room for error, but only in limited circumstances. This is true with respect to certain deadlines. A late brief filing, for example, will usually trigger a curable 15-day default period. However, the one deadline that cannot be extended is the date to file the notice of appeal. […]

The Value of a Certified Appellate Specialist

Certified Appellate Specialist Concept Image, Justice Statute

Any member of the California State Bar can practice appellate law. But not every member can claim to be a Certified Appellate Specialist. This unique designation by the State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization denotes an attorney with demonstrated skill in appellate law. If you plan to retain an attorney for your California civil appeal, […]