What’s the difference between trial & appellate courts?

During a trial, cases are heard initially and a verdict is handed down. An appellate court hears cases that have already been decided but that at least one party wishes to overturn. Appellate courts are also referred to as “higher” courts, because each case must be heard by a judicial officer in the court above the one that issued the initial ruling during trial. Appellate courts can also hear writ petitions for specific issues such as to challenge the jurisdiction of the trial court.

Can any case be appealed?

Most cases can be appealed by any party to the case in the trial court, within the 60 or 180 day time limits that apply depending on how the ruling was issued.

Which types of appeals cases does Warren Law Group PC accept?

Warren Law Group PC is a general appellate law practice but we have a focus on family court rulings. Contact us today to discuss the details of your appeal.

How to file an appeal in family court?

In California superior court, the appeal for family court goes to the Court of Appeal rather than the Superior Court’s Appellate Division. However, the process still starts by filing in the Superior Court a Notice of Appeal. The time limit for you to file a Family Court appeal is the same as all other matters. It will be the EARLIEST to occur among these three choices:

  1. 60 days after the Superior Court clerk serves you with a document entitled “Notice of Entry” of judgment or a filed-endorsed copy of the judgment, showing the date either was served.
  2. 60 days after the party filing the notice of appeal serves or is served by a party with a document entitled “Notice of Entry” of judgment or a filed-endorsed copy of the judgment, accompanied by proof of service.
  3. 180 days after entry of judgment, if neither of the 60 day conditions were met.

What California Family Code orders are appealable?

Most orders can be appealed. To be clear, however, some orders have no realistic chance of being successfully appealed. This is where you need to consult an appellate attorney, such as us, with the specific facts of your case and order.

Should I appeal or file a motion for a new trial?

It depends on the facts of your case and whether the fairly short time limit to move for a new trial has passed. The grounds for a new trial are very specific and limited. You might succeed if there is newly discovered evidence that could change the ruling, and…very importantly…there is a good reason why that evidence was not available to you during the first trial. If you merely think the judge believed the wrong person, that would not be grounds for a new trial. If you move for a new trial and are denied, you can still filed an appeal if the time limit did not expire. To learn if your appeal filing deadline can be extended by seeking a new trial, consult an appellate attorney such as us.

If I file a motion for reconsideration does that affect my appeal?

A motion for reconsideration in California is to be filed within 10 days of being served with the signed order. Unless delayed in the trial court, that matter should be resolved prior to the deadline to notice an appeal. But if not, the deadline to file an appeal in California is extended to the EARLIEST of these three dates following the filing of a motion to reconsider if the motion is made under California Code of Civil Procedure §1008(a):

  1. 30 days after the superior court clerk or a party serves an order denying the motion or a notice of entry of that order;
  2. 90 days after the first motion to reconsider is filed; or
  3. 180 days after entry of the appealable order.

Also note that the order denying a motion for reconsideration can also be appealed. Just make sure you have solid grounds for doing so.

Can we file an appeal with the Supreme Court without first going to a District Court?

No. There is a strict “chain of command” when it comes to the California court system that we cannot bypass. Your case will only make it to the Supreme Court, if at all, after the Court of Appeal has had its say. The Court of Appeal has three justices hearing your appeal. If they rule unanimously, it is rare (but not impossible) that the Supreme Court of California would take up the case. Where there is a dissent by one justice in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of California is more likely to raise its eyebrow and look closer at the case.

How likely is the Supreme Court to hear my appeal?

As you can imagine, the California Supreme Court is inundated with requests for appeals. They typically agree to hear cases that pertain to unsettled questions of law that will have far-reaching effects. It is always a longshot to expect the state or federal supreme court to take a case. Fortunately, there are plenty of lower courts to clear first.

Is an appeal akin to repeating the same judicial process over and over again?

No. It is a completely different experience. After the initial ruling, we can submit what’s known as an appellate brief. In this document, the appellant cites why we believe the judge incorrectly applied the law or evidence to your case, and the respondent argues in support of the trial court judge’s ruling. The trial court itself does not typically participate in the appeal. Most of the heavy lifting will be done by your attorney.

What are the Warren Law Group PC hours of operation?

We accept client appointments Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

If I can’t make those times, can we arrange a meeting at an alternate time?

Yes. We are willing to make after-hours appointments with our clients if circumstances demand them. We simply ask that you call ahead of time to make alternate arrangements.

How can I pay my invoice?

Warren Law Group PC accepts client payments via cash, check, and PayPal.

From our office in San Rafael, Marin County (Bay Area), Warren Law Group PC serves all of California as appellate counsel. Contact our office today at (415) 479-4200 to schedule a consultation with our trusted and effective legal team.

Appeals have very firm deadlines for action. Do not delay.