Since its inception in 1980, Daley & Heft has maintained a well-respected appellate practice handling writs and appeals throughout California, in both California and Federal appellate courts.  The firm has been involved in numerous published decisions, many of which have helped shape the law in various areas. See Published Cases.

In addition to handling the actual writ or appeal, or assisting in the preparing of substantive briefs, Daley & Heft is available to assist other attorneys during litigation  to ensure the client’s best chance of success. The firm is also available to handle writs of mandamus and other forms of extraordinary relief filed in both the superior and appellate courts. This includes responding to administrative writs of mandamus in public employment and public works matters as well as requests for injunctive relief in civil actions.

Necessity of Appellate Counsel

Appellate work is significantly different from trial work. It is extremely detail oriented, and requires an intimate knowledge of appellate procedure and practice. Appellate briefs receive greater judicial scrutiny than trial level points and authorities because three judges (or maybe seven) will read them. Appellate judges will have more time to study the attorney’s work product, and will have more staff to help them identify errors in counsel’s reasoning, misstatements of law and inaccurate citations of authority, and to do original research to uncover ideas and authorities that counsel may have missed.

“[A]ppellate practice entails rigorous original work in its own right. The appellate practitioner who takes trial level points and authorities and, without reconsideration or additional research, merely shovels them in to an appellate brief, is producing a substandard product.”

In re Marriage of Shaban (2001) 88 Cal. App. 4th 398, 408-410.

Hiring separate appellate  counsel confers a significant benefit.  In addition to providing the best chance of success, a skilled appellate practitioner can provide objective guidance.  As one appellate court stated:

“We also observe that trial attorneys who prosecute their own appeals, such as appellant, may have ‘tunnel vision.’ Having tried the case themselves, they become convinced of the merits of their cause. They may lose objectivity and would be well served by consulting and taking the advice of  disinterested members of the bar, schooled in appellate practice. We suspect that had appellant done so they would have advised him not to pursue this appeal.”

Estate of Gilkison (1998) 65 Cal. App. 4th 1443, 1449-1450.

Our Appellate practice includes Appeals and Writs and Administrative Writs of Mandamus

Attorney: Lee H. Roistacher