Advocacy Justice: Justice Lambden used to send opinions as “FYIs” to the Legislature

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
November 16, 2022

If you read court cases for a living, you may have some that conclude, “while we are sympathetic to the appellant, this is a problem for the Legislature to resolve.” Which is usually sensible enough. But how does anyone know if the Legislature is reading these cases?

Justice Lambden wondered the same thing. So that’s why when he wrote one such opinion, he forwarded a copy of it to the Speaker of the Assembly. Not as advocacy, mind you, just as an FYI. After all, Justice Lambden explains, it is a function of the courts to educate.

He would even tap on the microphone as a trial court judge to punctuate the record, “hey, Court of Appeal, this is an interesting issue.” You’ll never get a holding on an important issue if no one ever brings it up on appeal!

Watch the clip here.

This is a clip from episode 51 of the California Appellate Law Podcast. Listen to the full episode here.

Tim Kowal helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at, and publishes a newsletter of appellate tips for trial attorneys at His appellate practice covers all of California's appellate districts and throughout the Ninth Circuit, with appellate attorneys in offices in Orange County and Monterey County. Contact Tim at or (714) 641-1232.