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CEB has my article, “Defective Appellate Briefing in Two Cases Results in Dismissed Appeals”

Tim Kowal     April 10, 2024

CEB DailyNews has published my article, “Defective Appellate Briefing in Two Cases Results in Dismissed Appeals.” The briefing faux pas in two recent cases garnered a lot of attention, especially Grant v. City of Long Beach (9th Cir. Mar. 22, 2024, no. 22-56121), where counsel should have known better—leading to a published decision. Appellant’s counsel in Grant misrepresented several cases, including two nonexistent cases. When the 9th Circuit panel issued a focus letter asking her to explain, and then asked again at oral argument, counsel gave this bewildering response: the nonexistent cases “did not apply.”

The panel struck appellants' brief and dismissed the appeal.

Some observers have suggested this result is correct because otherwise, winnable civil rights cases could be lost to shoddy lawyering. But on the other hand, most civil rights cases do not pay well, and the few attorneys willing to take a shot may be scared off by harsh treatment.

So it bears remembering that it was not just the two nonexistent cases that got counsel into trouble. It was the fact that none of the cases really supported the appeal.

The original article is here.

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at CALpodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys. Contact Tim at [email protected] or (949) 676-9989.
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