Degani Law’s appellate practice covers a wide range of services in civil and criminal matters, including:
Appeals. The core of our practice is handling civil and criminal appeals, both for appellants and respondents. We provide full appellate litigation services, managing all steps in the appellate process, including preparing the notice of appeal, compiling and analyzing the appellate record, identifying issues for appeal, preparing or responding to appellate motions, researching and drafting appellate briefs, presenting oral argument, and filing or opposing petitions for rehearing, review, or certiorari,
Trial Support and Advice. We often work with trial counsel at the trial court level, consulting and advising on strategy to avoid reversible errors, preserve issues for appeal, and make a proper appellate record. Before and during trial, we consult on or draft significant motions or oppositions to motions, such as motions for dismissal or summary judgment, among others. We also assist with analyzing key evidence issues, preparing jury instructions and verdict forms, obtaining proper statements of decision, and other procedural and substantive matters that could affect the result of an appeal. After trial, we advise on or prepare all types of post-trial motions and oppositions to such motions, including motions for new trial, motions to vacate judgment, and motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which can be critical for appeal. We also work closely with clients or trial counsel on the highly technical process of obtaining or opposing stays on the execution of judgments pending appeal.
Writ Petitions. In appropriate cases, we assist clients and trial counsel during the trial stage by requesting or opposing discretionary appellate review of “interlocutory” trial court rulings, which are rulings that issue before the right to file a direct appeal attaches. In administrative proceedings, writ petitions may be the exclusive means of obtaining review. Writs are a highly specialized area of appellate practice with different rules than direct appeals. We have extensive experience with all types of writ petitions both from interim trial court rulings and from administrative agency decisions.
Supreme Court Review. We often are retained to prepare or oppose petitions for review by the California Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court, even if we did not handle the underlying appeal to the intermediary appellate courts. Review by either the California or U.S. Supreme Court is discretionary, not a matter of right, and each Court agrees to hear the merits of as few as just one to two percent of all petitions it receives each year, so these petitions require an entirely different type of analysis and writing than most other briefs. We have extensive experience drafting petitions for discretionary high court review to maximize the chance of success, as well as preparing briefs on the merits at the high court level if review is granted.
Amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefing. We draft and file amicus curiae or “friend of the court” briefs on behalf of clients who have a special interest in pending appeals to which they are not parties. We have extensive experience preparing a broad range of amicus briefs, representing everyone from industry groups to public interest groups or individuals.
Appellate Consultations and Evaluations. We realize that before deciding whether to pursue an appeal, clients need to weigh their chances of prevailing against the potential costs. We provide appellate consultations to help clients make informed decisions. We review and analyze the trial court record, identify and evaluate the potential issues for appeal, and provide our objective and honest assessment of the strength of those issues and the likelihood of success. Our appellate consultations give our clients the confidence they need to forge ahead with an appeal or make the difficult decision to let it go.