The appellate process provides a party the opportunity show that the trial court erred in deciding an important issue and that the error affected the outcome of a case. When a party initiates an appeal and prevails, the usual remedy is reversal of the adverse judgment and a new trial. A skilled appellate lawyer is crucial for a party for a party who wishes to challenge an adverse trial court judgment just as it is for a party who wishes to defend a favorable judgment.

Attorney Richard M. Oberto has extensive training and experience Appeals and Writs. His skill in legal writing and analysis has helped numerous clients in criminal and civil cases achieve the results they wanted and deserved.

Appellate Review in California

Trial proceedings in California's state legal system occur in the Superior Courts. The parties to a Superior Court action frequently dispute the legal issues. They make their objections, brief the issues, and preserve the important issues for appeal.

California has six District Courts of Appeal (“DCA”) that are responsible for reviewing appeals from Judgments of the Superior Courts. Appeals in actions such as misdemeanors, infractions, and limited civil cases have to be presented to the Appellate Division of a Superior Court before they can be presented to the DCA. The California Supreme Court sits at the top of the State's judicial system and is responsible for reviewing appeals from rulings of the six DCA's. When the California Supreme Court rules on an issue of federal law, its ruling can be appealed directly to the United States Supreme Court.

California state prisoners who have exhausted their federal appellate claims in the state courts are not necessarily limited to an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. Those prisoners also may be able to present their exhausted federal claims to a United States District Court by way of a Writ of Habeas Corpus. If the District Court denies relief, the prisoners may be able to appeal to the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit and again to the United States Supreme Court. (See 28 U.S.C. 2241 et seq.)

Appealable Orders and Judgments

The right to Appeal under California law does not accrue until the trial court has made an appealable order or judgment. The California Penal Code defines orders and judgments that are appealable in criminal cases while the Code of Civil Procedure defines orders and judgments that are appealable in civil cases.

Penal Code section 1237 requires that an appeal in a criminal case be taken from (a) a Final Judgment or (b) an order made after Final Judgment that affected a party's “substantial rights.” “Final Judgment” occurs when the trial court imposes a prison or county jail sentence, grants probation, orders a civil commitment, or orders a commitment for controlled substance addiction. A variety of post-Judgment orders have been deemed to affect a party's “substantial rights.” Examples include orders regarding probation, victim restitution, re-sentencing, and re-calculation of jail or prison time credits.

Code of Civil Procedure section 904.1 defines a variety of judgments and orders that trigger the right to Appeal in civil cases. Although there are statutory provisions that govern appealability of certain specific judgments and orders, the courts have interpreted section 904.1(a) as stating a “one judgment rule” that applies generally in civil cases. Under that rule, a trial court's Judgment is considered final when it fully determines the respective rights of a party and the party's adversary, thereby leaving nothing else to be decided in the action between the two.

Experienced Appellate Representation

Mr. Oberto welcomes people to contact him 24/7 at (559) 221-2557 to request an initial consultation. Se habla Espanol.

People also may contact Mr. Oberto to request an initial consultation using the contact form available on this website. Please do not use the contact form to write down sensitive information. Information communicated over the internet, including through this website, may not be considered confidential or privileged.

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