General Law

How to Not “Kill” Your Appeal

Hard-fought trials in superior court frequently end up in the Court of Appeal. But trial lawyers often have tunnel vision, focusing “on the moment” and neglecting to keep an eye toward an eventual appeal, when the outcome on appeal could very well turn on what counsel did or failed to do at the trial court level. To preserve issues for appellate review and maximize your chances for success on appeal, you need to know some basic rules of appellate procedure: when review is by appeal and when it is by writ; how to make an adequate record for appellate review; how to avoid waiver of points for appeal; and the role of appellate mediation and settlement discussions. You don’t want to “kill” your appeal before it starts!

This program shows you how to prepare your superior court case for an appeal that might well be inevitable, whether you win or lose. The panel of appellate experts give you invaluable pointers on what you must do prior to the appellate process in order to hold on to a victory or overturn a defeat. The program is intended for trial lawyers as well as appellate specialists who are assisting during trial in anticipation of an appeal.

• Risks of overlooking immediate appealability or “writability” of an interlocutory ruling

• Ensuring an adequate record of oral proceedings at a time when superior courts are cutting back on court reporters – most especially making sure the record reflects the court’s ruling on each material issue raised

• Making sufficient evidentiary objections and offers of proof

• Crafting and objecting to jury instructions and, again, making sure the record reflects all rulings on instruction issues

• Risk of waiving error by failing to reargue issues that were previously resolved upon denial of summary judgment or denial of a motion in limine

• Negotiating the thicket of special verdicts

• Requesting and drafting a statement of decision

• Special rules requiring post-trial motions to avoid waiving error

• The risk of careless stipulations

• The role of mediation and settlement discussions

Weitzenberg, Barton
W. Barton Weitzenberg
Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery

Mr. Weitzenberg specializes in construction defect cases and personal injury/wrongful death cases. He has devoted more than 35 years to representing individuals in their claims against insurance companies and large corporations.

Mr. Weitzenberg has been the president of and/or an active member of many local and state consumer legal rights organizations. He has been selected as a member of many of the most prestigious law associations in the country, including the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Inns of Court. He has taught the law for most of the leading mandatory continuing legal education organizations such as CEB and the Rutter Group as well as bar associations and trial lawyer associations such as the Consumer Attorneys of California. He is an instructor of law at the Stanford University Trial Advocacy Program and is a professor of law at the Redwood Empire School of Law.

Mr. Weitzenberg has won some of the most remarkable personal injury/wrongful death verdicts and settlements in the history of Sonoma County. He has represented the owners of virtually every conceivable type of building with regard to virtually every conceivable type of construction defect. He has a strong background in Common Interest Development Law and has represented homeowners associations with regard to a variety of issues including construction defect claims. He has also represented the Santa Rosa Junior College and various school districts with regard to their construction defect claims.

Mr. Weitzenberg has presided over jury and court trials as a Judge Pro-Tem of the Sonoma County Superior Court and has acted as an agreed arbitrator and mediator in a variety of cases.

Baxter, Joseph
Joseph Baxter
Law Offices of Joseph Baxter

Mr. Baxter is a Certified Appellate Specialist and has been practicing law for the past 42 years, with the last 36 years of practice occurring in Sonoma County. He has had numerous successful decisions in the United States Supreme Court (including a landmark decision in Robbins v. California), the Supreme Court of California and the California Courts of Appeal. In addition to his private civil and criminal appeals, Mr. Baxter also handles criminal appeals by appointment from the CA Supreme Court. Mr. Baxter graduated from law school at Georgetown University Law Center and has an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. He is also a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rated attorney.

Date: Monday, April 3, 2017

Time: Check-In: 11:45 am; Presentation: 12:00– 1:00 pm

W. Barton Weitzenberg, Abbey, Weitzenberg, Warren & Emery
Joseph Baxter, Law Offices of Joseph Baxter

Place: SCBA Office, NEW ADDRESS: 111 Santa Rosa Ave., Ste. 222, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Cost: $55–SCBA Members; $70–Public

MCLE: 1.0 Unit Participatory Credit in General Law

Student: $20 (The student discount is now available online for SCBA Student Members. Students who are not members of SCBA may utilize the student discount by downloading the registration form and submitting it with proof of current enrollment to the SCBA Offices. For more information on becoming a member of SCBA, please contact Susan Demers at (707) 542-1190 ext. 18.)

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