You trial attorneys have a job to do. That job is to win the trial. And you can’t always do that and win the appeal at the same time. So you can’t pick a fight on every point. But, you had better fight the ones that turn the case.
And, you had better make a record on it.
On this episode of the California Appellate Law Podcast, reprising Tim’s recent CLE presentation, we cover 10 tips that appellate attorneys want every trial attorney to know:
The rule that contains all appellate rules: Make the Record.
#1 Make sure your theories of the case are captured in your pleadings
#2 Was key evidence excluded? Preserve the issue by making a proffer.
#3 Keep objecting to evidence if the judge “defers” ruling on your MIL.
#4 Object to Jury Instructions
#5 Review the Verdict for Inconsistences
#6 Request and Object to the Statement of Decision
#7 File a motion for new trial to preserve challenges to the damages amount …and Watch out for JNOVs!
#8 Calculate Appellate Deadlines Correctly
#9 Avoid Common Appellate Briefing Mistakes
#10 Advise your client about important post-judgment issues (Attorney fees and costs; SLAPP fees; Bonds and Stays of Judgment-Enforcement; Post-judgment interest)
Evergreen Tip: Get a Court Reporter!
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Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at www.CALPodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys at www.tvalaw.com/articles. Contact Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 641-1232.
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