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The Kowal Law Group

Not your typical law firm—we are inspired to bring a unique perspective to our practice. Together, we stand as guardians of justice, ready to champion your appeals with unmatched determination and wisdom.

Timothy M. Kowal

Founder
[email protected](949) 676-9989State Bar of California California Board of Legal Specialization badge
Certified Appellate Specialist
Certified by the State Bar of California
BAR ADMISSIONS
Supreme Court of California
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
ASSOCIATIONS

OCBA Appellate Law Section
Member, 2018 - Present

The California Appellate Law Podcast 
Co-host, 2020 - Present

Fowler School of Law at Chapman University
Adjunct Professor, 2015 - 2017

Orange County Human Relations Commission
Commissioner, 2012 - Present

Orange County Federalist Society
Board Member, 2007 - Present

Huntington Beach Tomorrow
Board Member, 2013 - Present

EDUCATION

Fowler School of Law, Chapman University University of California, Irvine, J.D., cum laude

10.0Timothy Michael Kowal
Tim Kowal
Rated by Super Lawyers


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Tim's practice focuses on both trials and appeals. In his litigation practice, Tim represents clients in cases involving lender disputes, real estate development disputes, trespass and easement disputes, fraud and fraudulent transfers, breaches of fiduciary duty, promissory notes, trade secrets and unfair business practices, conversion, and most types of business and financial disputes.

In his appellate practice, Tim works directly with trial attorneys throughout litigation, including dispositive motions, evidentiary hearings, trial, and posttrial motions, writs, and appeals, in state and federal courts. Tim has substantial experience in obtaining stays of judgment enforcement during appeal.

Using both trial and appellate court remedies, Tim specializes in developing unique legal strategies for his clients. Tim's trial and appellate victories total over $60 million.

Tim is co-host of the California Appellate Law Podcast, providing legal updates and practice tips to trial and appellate attorneys.

Tim taught civil procedure as an adjunct professor of law at the Fowler School of Law from 2015 to 2017.

Outside of his legal practice, Tim is active in his community in Huntington Beach. Tim and his wife, Andi, worked with councilmembers in 2017 toward making HB the third Orange County city to stop using glyphosate and toxic herbicides in city parks.

While in law school, Tim served as Editor-in-Chief of the Chapman Law Review. Before practicing law, Tim helped run a successful IT sales and consulting firm in Orange County that continues to serve small businesses and individual customers in the region. He graduated from UC Irvine with a B.A. in philosophy, and is an alumnus of St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower.

C&C Properties, et al. v. Shell Pipeline Co., et al. (E.D.Cal. 2019) (pipeline easement dispute resulting in $40 million judgment upon jury verdict in favor of client real estate developers)
#1 Verdict in California for Trespass and Top 20 Verdict for All Categories

Domingo Villas, Inc., et al. v. Tarnutzer (Cal.Ct.App. 2019) ($1.9 million judgment upon jury verdict reversed in favor of client real estate developer)

Yang v. Sui, et al. (San Bernardino Sup.Ct. 2018) ($10 million jury verdict in favor of client online retail business owner)
#1 Verdict in California for Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, and Conversion

Dohr v. Lintz (Cal.Ct.App. 2019) (complete defense of $25 million in claims against more than 20 defendants based on alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and fraud, including three appeals)

Shapiro v. Dohr (Cal.Ct.App. 2017) ($5.1 million judgment in promissory note dispute reversed in favor of client real estate developer)

Casey v. Ferrante et al. (C.D.Bkr. 2015) (invalidated QPRT trust in first-of-its-kind ruling in favor of client Chapter 7 trustee)

Peterson v. Rubio (Cal.Ct.App. 2015) (rescission ordered by Court of Appeal in favor of elderly client borrower)

Citizens for a Fair Trash Contract v. City of Los Alamitos (O.C.Sup.Ct. 2011) (invalidating city trash contract on behalf of client citizen group)

Choi v. Orange County Great Park Corp. (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 524 (awarding attorneys' fees to client citizen group in suit enforcing public disclosure concerning the Irvine Great Park)

Tim Kowal, “Defective Appellate Briefing in Two Cases Results in Dismissed Appeals,” CEB DailyNews (April 8, 2024).

Tim Kowal, “Does 998 cost-shifting apply to settlements? A three-way split?,” CEB DailyNews (March 22, 2024).

Tim Kowal, “Tackling Court Reporter Scarcity in California,” Presented to Santa Cruz Bar Association (Feb. 22, 2024).

Tim Kowal, “Restraining Order Against an Attorney Must Be Based on Multiple Instances of Non-Litigation Conduct,” CEB DailyNews (Jan. 22, 2024 ).

Tim Kowal, “State wins a writ excusing it from disclosing whether its private research firm engaged in animal cruelty,” CEB DailyNews (Feb. 7, 2024).

Tim Kowal, “Arbitrator reversed for basing credibility on use of interpreter,” CEB DailyNews (Jan. 5, 2024).

Tim Kowal, “Lack of statement of decision leads to reversal” CEB DailyNews (Dec. 14, 2023).

Tim Kowal, “Specific Jurisdiction May Be Based on Past Contacts with Forum, Says 9th Circuit Panel over Judge VanDyke Dissent,” CEB Daily News  (Dec. 6, 2023).

Tim Kowal, “Sanctions of $8.7M was voidable, but not void, and so was reinstated on appeal,” CEB DailyNews (Nov. 30, 2023).

Tim Kowal, “Pay in 30 Days or Arbitration Is Forfeit—and 'Check Is in the Mail' Does Not Cut It,” CEB (Nov. 15, 2023).

Tim Kowal, “How to Preserve Appellate Rights in Your Arbitration Agreement,” CEB (Nov. 9, 2023).

Tim Kowal, “When It Comes to Writs of Administrative Mandamus, the Appealability Rules Are Confused,” CEB (Jun. 1, 2023)

Tim Kowal, “What Happens to a Fee Award After the Judgment Is Reversed? Try a Stipulated Reversal,” CEB (Apr. 26, 2023).

Tim Kowal, “Can You Read It Back? Tackling Court Reporter Scarcity in California,” CEB (March 17, 2023),

Tim Kowal, “Appeal Filed One Minute Late—Literally One Minute—Dismissed As Untimely,” CEB (Mar. 6, 2023),

Tim Kowal, “Ten Trial Tips from an Appellate Specialist,” CLE presentation, San Francisco Lawyers Network (Feb. 16, 2023).

Tim Kowal, “There Is No Such Thing As a “Corporate Representative” or “Person Most Qualified” Witness,” CEB (Feb. 3, 2023),

Tim Kowal, “SLAPP Fee Award Held Not Appealable If SLAPP Order Itself Is Not Appealed,” CEB (Dec. 22, 2022),

Tim Kowal, “Personal Jurisdiction Unnecessary to Issue Judgment on an Out-of-State Judgment, New Published CA Case Holds,” CEB (Dec. 6, 2022)

Tim Kowal, “Settlement Offer Under Section 998 Automatically Expires If Judge Grants Summary Judgment,” CEB (Nov. 15, 2022)

Tim Kowal, “MSJ Evidence Rulings Are Discretionary, California Appellate Court Holds in Split of Authority,” CEB (Nov. 10, 2022)

Tim Kowal, “Don’t Seek Default Without Notifying Opposing Counsel,” CEB (Oct. 26, 2022).

Tim Kowal, “Preparing the Appendix in Federal Appeals,” NALA, Q3 2022 Facts & Findings (Aug. 2022)

Tim Kowal, “Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal Code 496 in Business-Tort Cases," CEB (Aug. 3, 2022)

Tim Kowal, Are anti-SLAPP Fee Awards Automatically Stayed Pending Appeal? The Better Side of a Split of Authority Says Yes, 35 Cal. Litig. No. 1 (Spring 2022)

Tim Kowal, "Excluding Expert's Rebuttal Opinion Can Be Grounds to Reverse Jury Verdict," CEB (Jun. 3, 2022)

Tim Kowal, “Draft Your RFAs With Costs of Proof and Settlement in Mind,” CEB (May 13, 2022) 

Tim Kowal, “'Gamesmanship' Throughout Litigation May Raise Risk of Sanctions on Appeal,” CEB (Apr. 1, 2022)

Tim Kowal (Presenter), “Preparing the Excerpts of Record for Federal Appeals,” NALA (Mar. 24, 2022)

Tim Kowal, “A Trap for the Unwary: Order on a Post-Settlement Fee Motion May Be Nonappealable,” CEB (Jan. 28, 2022)

Tim Kowal, “The Risks of Serving Too Many Interrogatories,” CEB (Sep. 24, 2021)

Tim Kowal, “Don't Fall Into the "No Statement of Decision" Trap,” CEB (Dec. 17, 2021)

Tim Kowal, “Making Sense of the California Supreme Court's Publication Rules,” CEB (May 21, 2021)

Tim Kowal, “Something You Didn't Know About 998 Offers,” CEB (Apr. 30, 2021)

Timothy M. Kowal and Brendan M. Loper, A Defense Lawyer’s Complaint: Some Judges Don’t Get It About Judicial Admissions, Verdict (2018 vol. 2)

Don't Be an Activist, Be a Neighbor: How to Persuade Your City Council, presented at the 12th Annual Golden West College Peace Conference: Peace and the Global Economy: Emerging Issues & Practical Solutions (Apr. 2018)

Timothy M. Kowal, Dirty Work: Disgorging the Profits of Trespassing Pipelines, Orange County Lawyer (Oct. 2017)

Who Will Redevelop Redevelopment?: Power and Pragmatism in California Redevelopment Law, 12 ALB. L. ENVTL. OUTLOOK J. 93 (2007)

Rethinking Eminent Domain: The Restitutionary Approach to Just Compensation, 9 CHAP. L. REV. 463 (2006) (Winner, First Prize, Pacific Legal Foundation, Seventh Annual Judicial Awareness Writing Competition, 2006)

"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

"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

"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

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

— H.L. Mencken

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

Leviticus

"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

"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

"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

"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

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