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CAN I APPEAL THE JUDGMENT OR ORDER IN A CIVIL CASE?

October 20th, 2016

We are all human and are bound to make mistakes, this includes trial courts. However, the decision on whether to appeal a decision of the court is not an easy task and the procedural elements associated with filing an appeal if not followed properly can have devastating effects, including dismissal of your appeal. Generally speaking you have 30 days to file a notice of appeal. Keep in mind this is a jurisdictional requirement, meaning if you don't timely file your notice you completely lose your chance of having the court of appeal consider your appeal.

CCP 904.1 codifies the general list of appealable orders and judgments. Generally an appeal may be had from a final judgment thatterminatesthe trial court proceedings bycompletely disposing the matter in controversy.

Appeals are extremely technical and the California Court of Appeals has specific rules that need to be adhered to. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration prior to making a decision on whether or not to file an appeal. Such considerations include the standard of review that the appeals court will use in determining whether the trial court made an error. Broadly speaking there are three standards of review the court uses, they include: abuse of discretion, insufficiency of evidence, and de novo. A de novo review allows the court of appeal to ignore the trial courts ruling and look at the circumstances with a fresh set of eyes. Whereas in an insufficiency of evidence or abuse of discretion review the appellant would have to point to specific parts of the record and explain why the trial courts ruling was made in error.

Bottom line, appeals are extremely time consuming, costly, and technical that's consulting with an appeals lawyer who is familiar with the nuances of appeals is a must for any party considering appealing a decision.

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