Appellate work is significantly different from trial work. It is extremely detail oriented, and requires an intimate knowledge of appellate procedure and practice. Appellate briefs receive greater judicial scrutiny than trial level points and authorities because three judges (or maybe seven) will read them. Appellate judges will have more time to study the attorney’s work product, and will have more staff to help them identify errors in counsel’s reasoning, misstatements of law and inaccurate citations of authority, and to do original research to uncover ideas and authorities that counsel may have missed.
“[A]ppellate practice entails rigorous original work in its own right. The appellate practitioner who takes trial level points and authorities and, without reconsideration or additional research, merely shovels them in to an appellate brief, is producing a substandard product.” In re Marriage of Shaban (2001) 88 Cal. App. 4th 398, 408-410.Hiring separate appellate counsel confers a significant benefit. In addition to providing the best chance of success, a skilled appellate practitioner can provide objective guidance. As one appellate court stated: “We also observe that trial attorneys who prosecute their own appeals, such as appellant, may have ‘tunnel vision.’ Having tried the case themselves, they become convinced of the merits of their cause. They may lose objectivity and would be well served by consulting and taking the advice of disinterested members of the bar, schooled in appellate practice. We suspect that had appellant done so they would have advised him not to pursue this appeal.”
Estate of Gilkison (1998) 65 Cal. App. 4th 1443, 1449-1450.
Attorneys at Dean Gazzo Roistacher LLP have maintained a well-respected appellate practice handling writs and appeals throughout California for clients and as amicus curiae, in both California and federal appellate courts. Our appellate practice is led by Lee H. Roistacher, an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Attorneys in our firm have been involved in hundreds of appellate matters including numerous published decisions, many of which have helped shape the law in various areas. Representative cases include: Rubenstein v. Doe No. 1 (2017) 3 Cal.5th 903; Tan Lam v. City of Los Banos (9th Cir. 2020) 976 F.3d 986; S.R. Nehad v. Browder (9th Cir. 2019) 929 F.3d 1125; Fortyune v. City of Lomita (9th Cir. 2014) 766 F.3d 1098; Vasquez v. North County Transit District (9th Cir. 2002) 292 F.3d 1049; SLPR, L.L.C. v. San Diego Unified Port District (2020) 49 Cal.App.5th 284; Willis v. City of Carlsbad (2020) 48 Cal. App. 5th 1104; Presbyterian Camp & Conference Centers, Inc. v. Superior Court (2019) 42 Cal.App.5th 148; Gonzalez v. City of Norwalk (2017) 17 Cal.App.5th 1295; Garcia v. American Golf Corp. (2017) 11 Cal. App. 5th 532; Fazio v. Fairbanks Ranch Country Club (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1053; Investors Equity Life Holding Company v. Schmidt (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1363; Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ (2014) 231 Cal. App. 4th 913 Mincal Consumer Law Group v. Carlsbad Police Department (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 259; Investors Equity Life Holding Company Schmidt, et al. (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 1519; Estate Of Redfield (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 1526; Brown v. Ransweiller (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 516; San Diego Trolley, Inc. v. Superior Court (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1083.
In addition to handling the actual writ or appeal, or assisting in the preparing of substantive briefs, Dean Gazzo Roistacher LLP is available to assist other attorneys during litigation to ensure the client’s best chance of success. The firm is also available to handle writs of mandamus and other forms of extraordinary relief filed in both the superior and appellate courts. This includes responding to administrative writs of mandamus in public employment and public works matters as well as requests for injunctive relief in civil actions