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Tag: Posttrial Motions

February 14, 2024
You can appeal from a postjudgment order, but not to challenge the judgment

After entering a visitation order for great-grandparents, the court entered another order modifying it. The mother appealed from the modification. The court in Rodriguez v. Rodriguez (D5 Feb. 9, 2024 No. F086277) [nonpub. opn.] held that, yes, the modification was appealable, but the issues the mother was challenging were in the first order. And the […]

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April 21, 2023
What the heck is a protective cross-appeal, anyway?

“One more thing,” the appellate attorney darkly muses. “Be ready to file a protective cross-appeal.” Wait, what? What the heck is that? Is this just one more way we appellate specialists try to get added to trial attorneys’ speed-dial? Here a 3-minute explainer. Basically, just remember: if you lost a verdict but won a JNOV, […]

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February 20, 2023
Ten Trial Tips from an Appellate Specialist

Last week I presented my talk “Ten Trial Tips from an Appellate Specialist” to the San Francisco Lawyers Network (Feb. 16, 2023). Here are the tips: Rule Zero: Make the Record #1 Make sure your theories of the case are captured in your pleadings #2 Was key evidence excluded? Preserve the issue by making a […]

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December 6, 2022
New Case Tips for Judgment Creditors & Litigation Privilege

If you have a judgment against a debtor and you want to do some judgment collection in another state, is personal jurisdiction an obstacle? Do you have to show the debtor has minimum contacts with the other state? No, says a new published case. We’ll consider the possible effects of this — they are surprising. […]

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November 17, 2022
Disqualification motion tolls posttrial and appellate deadlines

Cynics have suggested that the “jurisdictional” deadline to file an appeal “’is only as jurisdictional as [the courts] want it to be.’” The Court of Appeal knows this—after all, that is a quote directly from a Supreme Court dissenting opinion. (Hollister Convalescent Hosp., Inc. v. Rico (1975) 15 Cal.3d 660, 677 [dis. opn. of Tobriner, […]

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September 22, 2022
How does the extension of time to appeal under rule 8.108 work?

So you are going to take an appeal, but you are going to take a run at a motion for new trial first? Here is another case that demonstrates how many things can go wrong when relying on posttrial motions to extend the time to appeal. Sharma lost her auto-defect case after a jury trial. […]

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September 21, 2022
An Untimely Motion to Vacate Is Still “Valid” to Extend the Deadline to Appeal

You know that the deadline to appeal may be extended if you file a posttrial motion. But beware: the extension does not apply if your posttrial motion turns out to be “invalid.” That very nearly happened in Arega v. Bay Area Rapid Transit Dist. (D1d3 Sep. 14, 2022 no. A163266) -- Cal.Rptr.3d --- (2022 WL […]

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July 19, 2021
Appellate Court Acknowledges "The Rules Governing the Timeliness of an Appeal Are Complex"​; Appeal Dismissed

Filing a notice of appeal is deceptively simple. There is a Judicial Council form you can use. Everyone knows there is a 60-day deadline to file the notice of appeal (though when it starts running can be a little mysterious). There is no reason to consult an appellate attorney for something so simple as filing […]

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June 9, 2021
Appellate Tips Involving Waiver, Arbitration, and Satan: California Appellate Law Podcast Episode 11

In episode 11 of the California Appellate Law Podcast, TVA appellate attorney Tim Kowal discusses some recent cases with co-host Jeff Lewis in which state and federal appellate courts have found waivers and other errors made by attorneys and parties in the trial court. Like reading a high school yearbook, appellate decisions often capture attorneys […]

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April 1, 2021
Important Differences in Federal and State Appeals, with Cory Webster

Appellate attorney Cory Webster joins Jeff Lewis and Tim Kowal on episode 9 of the California Appellate Law Podcast to discuss the differences in handling state and federal appeals.  We discuss: Pitfalls in failing to make crucial posttrial motions (FRCP 50). The vastly different approaches to oral arguments in federal court. The impact of amicus […]

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"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

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

— H.L. Mencken

"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

"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.)

"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

"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

"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

“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

"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

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