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Strategic Litigation and Appellate Law

If your case were simple, you would not have found us. Clients find us who are looking for help with complex cases, tricky procedural problems, or nuanced legal issues. We are comfortable working both in the center or as part of top-tier trial and appellate teams. Our goal is to navigate your case for maximum chance to win—both at trial and on appeal.


Strategic Litigation

What do we mean by "strategic litigation"? Every litigation involves strategy of some sort, and every attorney has their idea of what strategy is appropriate. But as Mike Tyson said, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

See some examples of the kind of challenges we help our clients navigate when their cases don't go according to plan with the button below.


Writs and Appeals

When all efforts have failed in the trial court, the appellate court offers relief through two procedures: a direct appeal, or a writ petition. The right to appellate relief is statutory in nature, and by statute only certain types of orders may be reviewed by a direct appeal. These include final judgments, injunction orders, postjudgment orders, and many types of probate and family court orders. What about orders before trial that turn the case upside down? Rulings that exclude key evidence, or that remove issues from the case, cannot be appealed directly, but the appellate court may review them under their common law authority when raised in a petition for a writ of mandate.

We help clients and other attorneys raise timely appeals and writ challenges, and prosecute them to victory.


"Upon putting laws into writing, they became even harder to change than before, and a hundred legal fictions rose to reconcile them with reality."

— Will Durant

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

— Plato (427-347 B.C.)

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

— James Madison, Federalist 62

"It may be that the court is thought to be excessively legalistic. I should be sorry to think that it is anything else."

— Hon. Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of Australia

"Moot points have to be settled somehow, once they get thrust upon us. If an assertion cannot be proved, then it must be settled some other way, and nearly all of these ways are unfair to somebody."

—T.H. White, The Once and Future King

"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

— H.L. Mencken

"God made the angels to show Him splendor, … Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."

— Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons

"Counsel on the firing line in an actual trial must be prepared for surprises, including requests for amendments of pleading. They cannot ask that a judgment afterwards obtained be set aside merely because their equilibrium was slightly disturbed by an unexpected motion."

Posz v. Burchell (1962) 209 Cal.App.2d 324, 334

"At common law, barratry was 'the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up suits and quarrels' (4 Blackstone, Commentaries 134) and was punished as a misdemeanor."

Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187

"So far as the beginnings of law had theories, the first theory of liability was in terms of a duty to buy off the vengeance of him to whom an injury had been done whether by oneself or by something in one's power. The idea is put strikingly in the Anglo-Saxon legal proverb, 'Buy spear from side or bear it,' that is, buy off the feud or fight it out."

— Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.


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