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Appeals and Writs and Other Post Conviction Remedies

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is a request to a higher court to review a decision made in a completed trial or proceeding. Most legal disputes are initially decided by trial courts. After a trial or proceeding is completed, if the defendant is dissatisfied with the outcome and believes an error was made that adversely affected the result, he or she may file an appeal in the appropriate Court of Appeal.

Reported Cases:
People v. Clark (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 1233; In re William S. (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 313; People v. Mitchell (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 783; People v. Monette (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1572;
People v. Ponce (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1380; People v. Ellison (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 203; U.S. v. Robertson, 158 F.3d. 1370 (9th Cir. 1998); People v. Borrelli (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th
703; People v. Young (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 229; In re Eduardo C. (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 937; U.S. v. Franklin, 321 F.3d 1231 (9th Cir. 2003);U.S. v. Guo, 634 F.3d 119 (9th Cir. 2011); King
v. Ryan, 564 F.3d 1133 (9th Cir. 2009); Collins v. Runnels, 603 F.3d 1127 (9th Cir. 2010); People v. Sizemore (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 864; Henderson v. Johnson, 710 F.3d 872 (9th Cir.
2013); Aleman v. Uribe, 723 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2013); People v. Demirdjian (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 10; U.S. v. Franklin, 321 F.3d 1231 (9th Cir. 2003); People v. Aleksanyan (2014)
231 Cal.App.4th Supp.1; People v. Iniguez (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th Supp.1; People v. Johnson (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 943.
Duke v. Gastelo, 64 F.4th 1088 (9th Cir. 2023).
Gibbs v. Covello, 996 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2021).

Appellate Law

This is an audio recording from my appearance on KALW, Local Public Radio 91.7 FM in San Francisco.

By Chuck Finney
Appellate Law. Guests: Myron Moskovitz, Appellate Law attorney and retired Constitutional Law Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law; Fay Arfa, California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS) Certified Specialist in Appellate Law and in Criminal Law, and Certified Criminal Law Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA); and Paul Katz, CBLS Certified Specialist in Appellate Law.


What do the Courts of Appeal decide?

The Courts of Appeal decide questions of law, such as whether the trial court judge applied the law correctly in a case. The Courts of Appeal do not hear testimony or retry cases. An appeal from a trial court judgment is decided based on the record from the original trial or proceeding. Issues brought to a Court of Appeal for review commonly include claims such as an incorrect ruling on admissibility of evidence, incorrect application of a law or regulation, improper jury instructions, and insufficient evidence to support the verdict.

What's the difference between a writ and an appeal?

Writs usually are considered to be extraordinary remedies, meaning they are permitted only when the defendant has no other adequate remedy, such as an appeal. A defendant may take a writ to contest a point that the defendant cannot raise on appeal.

A writ of habeas corpus (literally to “produce the body”) is a court order to a person (prison warden) or agency (institution) holding someone in custody to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court issuing the order.

Other Post Conviction Remedies:

  • Motion for a New Trial
  • State Court Habeas Corpus Petitions
  • Federal Habeas Corpus Petition to District Court
  • Appeal of Habeas Corpus Petition to Circuit Court
  • Appeal of Federal Habeas Corpus Petition to U.S. Supreme Court

Counties Served:

We serve all counties and cities in Northern, Southern, and Central California: Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura.

Call today at 310- 841-6805 for a free telephone consultation.

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Fay Arfa is committed to answering your questions about Trials, Appeals, Habeas Corpus, State Crimes, Federal Crimes, and Sex Crimes law issues in California.

We offer a free telephone consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.