Appeals

Overall, our lawyers win reversals almost three times as often as the average appellant. When defending judgments, we prevail nine times out of every ten.

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing companies and individuals in the California Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Here are a few examples of our recent victories:

Obtained full affirmance of a judgment in favor of a private trust against a surety that backed a former professional trustee who stole trust assets. The surety asserted that a failure of notice violated its constitutional due process rights, an argument the California Court of Appeal, Third District, handily rejected. As a result, the trust may recover not just its losses but also the salary paid to the crooked trustee and its attorneys fees and costs. Dykier v. Cox (11/30/15) No. 077006 (unpublished decision) [Ben Feuer and Bill Hancock]

As court-appointed appellate counsel, persuaded the Ninth Circuit to create new law recognizing a due process right to a pre-deprivation hearing before prison officials seize funds to pay for the costs of incarceration. Shinault v. Hawks, 782 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2015) [Anna-Rose Mathieson]

Won major victory in the California Supreme Court for our clients J.R. Marketing, LLC, and its owners, who faced a devastating ruling from the Court of Appeal allowing an insurance company to sue them, rather than their prior attorneys, for the value of the prior attorneys’ overcharged legal fees. The Supreme Court gave J.R. Marketing a total win, reversing the Court of Appeal and excusing our client from responsibility for its former counsel’s overcharges to the insurer. Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, et al. (2015) 61 Cal.4th 988 [Ben Feuer and Bill Hancock]

For Wells Fargo Bank and Kohl’s Department Stores, successfully obtained published, partial reversal of judgment, and precedent establishing that a pre-judgment interest rate of 7%, rather than 10%, applies to amounts due on mechanics liens when the defendant is not in privity of contract with the plaintiff. Palomar Grading & Paving et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank et al. (2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 686 [Ben Feuer]

Won reversal based on a significant jurisdictional issue of first impression in California, whether trial courts can award interim spousal support before resolving a restraining order petition. In re: Marriage of J.Q. and T.B. (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 687 [Anna-Rose Mathieson]

Won reversal in a major case before the California Supreme Court on appellate attorney fees.  The Supreme Court held a prevailing party can move for attorney fees for successful defense of a judgment on appeal even after the judgment has been satisfied because the Enforcement of Judgments Law does not cutoff the right to those fees. Conservatorship of Ida McQueen (2014) 328 P.3d 46 [Audra Ibarra]

Served as consultant to plaintiffs, who obtained full affirmance of grant of new trial  in tort action against Pacific Gas & Electric based on electrocution of Santa Clara firefighter by downed power line while fighting fire.  Among other rulings, the Court held that the common law firefighter’s rule did not protect PG&E from liability as a matter of law.  McCormack v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company (4/15/2013) 2013 WL 1563835 (unpublished decision)  [Bill Hancock]

Successfully represented appellant as lead counsel in hotly contested grandparent visitation dispute, which resulted in a published decision that clarifies the U.S. Constitution’s limits on a trial court’s power to order grandparent visitation with the children of a surviving parent against that parent’s wishes. Ian J. v. Peter M. (2013) 213 Cal.App.4th 189 [Bill Hancock]

Persuaded Court of Appeal, in question of first impression, that a petition for writ of administrative mandate cannot generally be characterized as an “action” subject to California’s anti-SLAPP statute. Young v. Tri-City Healthcare Dist. (2012) 210 Cal.App.4th 35 [Charles Kagay]

Successfully defended judgment in favor of escrow company in multi-million dollar suit arising out of the housing market price collapse, and, in cross-appeal, obtained remand to trial court to award increased attorney fees without considering plaintiffs’ ability to pay. Walker v. Ticor Title Co. of California (2012) 204 Cal.App.4th 363 [Bill Hancock and Ben Feuer]

Won affirmance of judgment in favor of hospital system against former patient seeking to avoid payment of medical fees on the basis of allegedly improper insurance billing. Daughters of Charity Health System v. Simoncini (7/20/12) 2012 WL 2948597 (unpublished decision) [Audra Ibarra]

Obtained affirmance of order granting in part anti-SLAPP motion to strike by the family of an 87-year old nursing home patient, after the nursing home sued the family due to the family’s efforts to raise concerns about the nursing home’s alleged mistreatment of the patient, where those efforts constituted protected speech and petition activity. Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging v. West (11/14/11) 2011 WL 5517283 (unpublished decision) [Ben Feuer]

Persuaded the California Supreme Court to hold that a hearing officer in a hospital administrative proceeding lacks authority to dismiss an administrative case on his or her own purely discretionary initiative. Mileikowsky v. West Hills Hospital and Medical Center (2009) 45 Cal.4th 1259 [Charles Kagay]

Successfully defended appeal and prosecuted cross-appeal to obtain judgment denying a writ of mandate challenging an EIR for State Water Project water transfer. Planning and Conservation League v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (2009) 180 Cal.App.4th 210 [Bill Hancock]

In major, multi-million dollar decision, obtained reversal of summary judgment that created new law regarding reconsideration motions in the context of antitrust lawsuits related to unlawful tying arrangements in the hospital industry. UAS Management, Inc., v. Mater Misericordiae Hospital (2008) 169 Cal. App.4th 357 [Charles Kagay]

Along with appellate team, obtained affirmance from the California Supreme Court of jury verdict worth hundreds of millions of dollars in patent and royalty fees for secret genetic scientific discoveries. City of Hope National Medical Center v. Genentech, Inc. (2008) 43 Cal.4th 375 [Bill Hancock]

As appellate counsel for trial lawyers in toxic tort suit, obtained full reversal of $1.15 million in sanctions imposed against trial counsel. Clark v. Optical Coating Lab, Inc. (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 150 [Bill Hancock]

As one of several co-counsel, represented plaintiffs challenging Bush Administration’s post-9/11 warrantless wiretapping program. Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc., et al. v. Obama et al., 507 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2007) [Bill Hancock]

Full affirmance of judgment rejecting “reverse validation” challenge to $80 million financing transaction. Plambeck v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (9/6/07) 2007 WL 2564537 (unpublished decision) [Bill Hancock]

Writ of prohibition issued annulling contempt order and restraining any further proceedings on the order. Robinson v. Superior Court of Sonoma County (1/26/07) 2007 WL 196882 (unpublished decision) [Bill Hancock]

Full affirmance of judgment approving negative declaration in environmental law matter. California Water Network v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (3/23/06) 2006 WL 726882 (unpublished decision) [Bill Hancock]

Full reversal of $20 million verdict in construction accident case. England v. Swinerton Builders (8/29/05) 2005 WL 2065297 (unpublished decision) [Bill Hancock]

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