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Seeking Review in the California Supreme Court

The Problem If you lost in the Court of Appeal, you can then ask the California Supreme Court to hear your case, via a "petition to review". The Court denies over 95 percent of these…

Abolish Oral Argument?

Stanley Mosk once told me, “Oral argument is a waste of time.” I didn’t buy it, because I didn’t want to buy it: I’m an appellate lawyer who enjoys the banter of oral argument. But he was both an Associate…

Effective Examples Can Give Your Brief Some Pizzazz

People love stories. You told a good story in your Statement of Facts. Now it's time to invent some new stories to include in the Argument section of your brief. We call these stories…

Anticipate Opposing Arguments?

Suppose you are writing an Appellant's Opening Brief. In the trial court, your opponent made an argument against the position you are now taking. Should you deal with it in your Opening Brief - or…

Aggressive Reasonableness II

In an earlier blog, I proposed that lawyers engage in "aggressive reasonableness". "Aggressive unreasonableness", however, can hurt not just the client, but the lawyer too. …

Pecoraro v. Barbaccia

During my rather lengthy career as an appellate lawyer, I’ve handled many, many appeals and writs involving real property issues – but never one as strange as this one. In Pecoraro v. Barbaccia, hei…

Aggressive Reasonableness

Sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not. I once handled an appeal where this approach made all the difference. Plaintiff owned a single-family home near several fraternities on the south side of t…