The Bacinett Law Offices has successfully appealed cases and responded to appeals
An appeal is a distinct, clearly-delineated procedure very different from the trial court process. If a litigant believes the trial court made an error, he or she can file a notice of appeal. The court clerk and court reporter will then (in most cases) prepare transcripts of the documents and trial proceedings, and then the appealing party will be ordered to prepare and file an opening brief. The other party then has the opportunity to file a responding brief, and the appealing party can file a reply brief if desired. The court will then set a hearing, and the parties will have the opportunity to argue the appeal before a panel of three appellate justices.
In most family law cases, the oral argument will last ten to fifteen minutes per side. The justices will often interrupt appellate counsel with questions about their position.
The costs of an appeal are considerable without the attorney fees. The appeallant and the respondent must obtain court transcripts to be considered, obtain certified copies of the court file to be filed with the appealant court and the current filing fee and response fee to an appeal is $495. The typical costs are between $2,000 and $5,000. The retainer required on most appeals is $10,000.
Within 90 days after the oral argument, the appellate court will issue a written opinion. Usually, opinions are “unpublished”, which means they are not published in the California Official Reports, and they may not be cited as authoritative in court filings. Sometimes, however, the appellate court will decide that an opinion has value to the California legal community and will publish the opinion. A published opinion may be relied on and cited in documents filed with the courts.
Sometimes time or other circumstances will not allow for an appeal. A party may have a basis to file an emergency writ to the appellate court, requesting immediate relief. The procedures are similar to an appeal, but the court will usually rule on the writ without oral argument.