Appellate courts are not like trial courts. Each appeal is heard by a panel of several judges. They hear arguments but do not take evidence. They have special rules and customs that trial lawyers do not know about.
We approach each case strategically – focusing on what our experience tells us is most likely to persuade the appellate court. We generally follow the ideas set out in Myron Moskovitz's book Strategies On Appeal, available from the University of California's Continuing Education of the Bar program.
We handle every type of subject matter – tech cases, contract disputes, property claims, estate and trust claims, personal injury cases – you name it. And we win appeals in every area. The judges we face are generalists, and so are we. What counts is our long experience in strategizing how to shape each brief and argument to fit with what the appellate judges want.
It works. Appellate courts reverse only 17% of the time. Judicial Council of California, Statewide Caseload Trends – 2012-13 through 2021-22, p. 45. But they have reversed for us in 60% of our cases. And when we represented the respondent, they affirmed 89% of the time. To our knowledge, no other appellate law firm in California can claim this rate of success.
Check it out yourself. See below for the list of cases we have handled.
A Recent Victory
Kathy Pesic's husband Ivan died, leaving everything to Kathy. To her surprise, Kathy then received a $9 million claim against Ivan's estate for “child support”, filed by Joyce.
It turned out that Joyce had a long-time affair with Ivan, resulting in the birth of twins who – according to Joyce – needed the $9 million for support.
Joyce and Ivan had conceived the twins through a “fertility clinic” run by Dr. Zoaves. After Ivan died, Joyce went to the clinic, forged Ivan's signature on a consent form, and received Ivan's frozen sperm.
Because the twins did have a legitimate claim, Kathy settled with Joyce for $1 million. Kathy then sued Dr. Zoaves for the $1 million, claiming that Zoaves had “converted” the sperm by giving it to Joyce without proper consent.
The trial judge threw out a $1 million jury verdict for Zoaves based on a consent form that Ivan had signed earlier. Moskovitz Appellate Team represented Kathy on appeal, persuading the court to reverse the trial judge and reinstate the jury's award. Pesic v. Zouves Fertility Center (California Court of Appeal, 2022) 2022 WL 17246343.
From trial counsel:
"Myron Moskovitz's superpower is his ability to simplify. In my client's case, he presented to the Court of Appeal a succinct statement of facts that painted a vivid picture but left out nothing important. He did the same for the legal issues, identifying and confidently arguing only the strongest ones.
The result was an appellate opinion that reflected the court's thorough understanding of both the facts and the relevant law, ruling for my client."
Kathleen Sherman, Esq.
From the client:
"Myron Moskovitz is one of the best appealing lawyers I have ever worked with. His fee is very reasonable, and the most important thing is he delivers results."