Appellate Justices Offer These Tips to Attorneys

In May 2018, the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) invited the Justices of the First District Court of Appeal to meet informally with local appellate attorneys so both sides could discuss the court rules and practices they like and dislike. These tips and observations may help you, even if you practice in other districts. Continue reading

New Year, New Laws for Civil Litigators

The California legislature has enacted new laws that may affect your litigation practice. Here are some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

12 Tips for Writing an Effective Appellate Brief

An appellate brief is a way to convey the facts, legal questions, law that you want the court to apply, and how you want it applied. It’s also an exercise in persuasion, and should be written for readers who have only a short time to read it. Continue reading

Did You Know You Can Collect Fees for Time Spent Collecting Fees?

Collecting attorney fee awards and enforcing judgments can be very time-consuming. Don’t forget to collect attorney fees for time spent chasing down your fees in collection efforts. Continue reading

4 Reasons to Get Help on a Fee Motion

Just because you successfully handled the merits of a case doesn’t mean that you should take on a large or complex fee motion that arises from it. It may be time to bring in someone with fee motion expertise. Continue reading

Checklist: What to Do If Summary Judgment Is Denied

You moved for summary judgment but your motion was denied. Here’s a checklist of four things to ask yourself. Continue reading

Dead Man Balking: Writ of Execution Doesn’t Work After Debtor’s Death

thinkstockphotos-501575596Updated 5/22/18: In County Line Holdings, LLC v McClanahan (May 2, 2018, B2778790) 2018 Cal App Lexis 392, the court held that a creditor could enforce a previously recorded judgment lien on a deceased debtor’s property more than 1 year after the debtor’s death.

So you have a money judgment, but the debtor dies before you can collect. Never mind. You still have a judgment lien on the debtor’s estate. Right? Continue reading

When Should You Cross-Appeal?

ThinkstockPhotos-463518799Missing an opportunity to cross-appeal can be a big mistake. Ordinarily, if you’re on the winning side in the trial court, there’s no need to file a cross-appeal. But there are situations in which filing a cross-appeal is not only appropriate but critical. Continue reading

Cautionary Tale: When a Stipulated Continuance Won’t Save You from Untimeliness

170446161A recent case shows what happened when counsel stipulated to a continuance that took the ruling on a motion to vacate a default judgment past the jurisdictional time limit. It’s the tale of a big win, followed by a crushing loss. And it was an issue of first impression, so arguably counsel couldn’t have seen it coming. Continue reading

Lost on a Motion in Limine? Make Your Record!

The basic rule is that, if you don’t make a timely objection before or when objectionable matters are mentioned or introduced, you may not be able to raise the issue on appeal. See Evid C §353. Accordingly, if you don’t ensure that a proper record is made of any adverse ruling to a motion in limine, you may just have lost a ground for appeal. Here’s how to preserve the ground for appeal when you’re on the losing end of a motion in limine. Continue reading