Michael Colantuono is our Latest Featured Speaker

Our latest featured speaker is Michael Colantuono from Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley!

Michael spoke recently at our  Appellate Law Certified Legal Specialist Exam Four-Part Online Prep Course (CA) in August of 2023 as well as our February 2023 8th Annual Advanced Appellate Practice CA Webinar.

Michael is routinely rated as one of our most popular speaker – he is a fantastic teacher.  Because he is so popular, Michael is invited back time and again.  He’ll be speaking again at our upcoming 9th Annual Advanced Appellate Practice program, which has returned to an in-person with live streaming format in February of 2024. That program will be held in San Francisco on February 1st and in Sierra Madre/Pasadena on February 9th. It will also be live-streamed from both locations, if people cannot attend in person.

Thank you for joining us again, Michael!  We appreciate you coming back.

Michael is a shareholder at Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley where he specializes in municipal law. The Supreme Court appointed him the first Chair of the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California; he was previously President of the Bar.

The State Bar has certified Michael as an Appellate Specialist and he is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a prestigious association of fewer than 100 of California’s most distinguished appellate advocates.

In addition to his expertise in municipal law, Michael has mastery over a broad range of legal topics, including: local governments, constitutional law, land use regulation, open meetings, elections, conflicts of interest, public utilities, LAFCO issues, inverse condemnation, cannabis regulation, and various public finance issues involving taxes assessments, fees and charges.

 Michael is one of California’s leading experts on municipal revenues and has appeared in all six Courts of Appeal in California. In addition, he has argued nine public finance cases in the California Supreme Court since 2004 and briefed two others. 

We are excited to have him with us!

Josh Escovedo is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Josh Escovedo of Buchalter will be speaking at our upcoming 2nd Annual IP Year in Review, a webinar that delves into the world of intellectual property! Josh will be a part of a stellar panel of practitioners who will discuss significant developments in 2023 in copyright, patent, and trademark law.

To make sure you don’t skip a beat, you might also be interested in our 1st Annual IP Year in Review, available for download now!

Josh is currently a shareholder in Buchalter’s Sacramento and Los Angeles offices. His intellectual property practice focuses on trademark and copyright law as it pertains to both litigation and transactional matters. Josh regularly handles infringement litigation, trademark and copyright registration, licensing, and acquisitions and sales of intellectual property. His comprehensive approach ensures that his clients’ intellectual-property assets are protected and maximized.

Josh is certified by the NFLPA, CFLPA, and MLBPA (pending) as a contract advisor. As both an agent and an attorney, Josh has developed an intimate understanding of the sports industry, its collective bargaining agreements, and the business of sports. This valuable insight has paved the way for him to establish a specialized sports practice, catering to the diverse needs of athletes, coaches, managers, teams, and fellow agents. Whether it’s reviewing services contracts, negotiating endorsement deals, or representing clients’ interests in arbitration, Josh’s deep understanding of the sports provides a significant advantage to his clients.

Don’t miss Josh share incredible insight at our IP Year in Review next week!

Gary B. Bell is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Gary B. Bell will be speaking at our upcoming two-part webinar, Administrative Law Hearings: A Beginner’s Guide (California). This excellent program simplifies the complex nature of administrative law by way of overview, and most importantly, discussion of tips and strategies by administrative law experts such as Gary!

To further bolster your knowledge, check out Writs of Administrative Mandamus 101: The Nuts and Bolts (California), which is available for download now! This program guides you through the process of filing and opposing a petition for a writ of administrative mandamus, drafting a writ, as well as other forms of judicial review mechanisms of California State and Local Agency Action.

Gary is currently a shareholder at Colantuono, Highsmith Whatley, PC. He serves as City Attorney for the City of Novato, Town Attorney for the Town of Yountville, City Attorney for the City of Auburn, and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Weed, as well as General Counsel for the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) of Napa County, the Upper Valley Waste Management Agency, the Garden Valley Fire Protection District, the Pine Grove Community Services District, the River Pines Public Utility District, and the First 5 Yuba Commission.

His practice covers all aspects of municipal law and public law, including elections, land use, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), public works contracting, contracts, franchise agreements and franchise fees, joint powers agreements and agencies, solid waste and recycling, cannabis regulation and enforcement, municipal finance law, labor and employment law, constitutional law, code enforcement, conflicts of interest, open meetings and records laws, post-redevelopment issues, and matters involving Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCOs).

Before joining CH&W, Gary served as City Attorney for the City of Firebaugh and advised municipal clients throughout California on a wide range of issues, including counties, cities, school districts, and special districts.

Thank you for sharing your expertise and experience with us, Gary!

Initiating an Appeal in Civil Cases by 9th Circuit Practitioners

Calling all appellate practitioners!  Need a quick review on initiating a civil appeal in federal court?

Listen to our experts from our 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts, which attendees praised as a “grand slam”!

“Really excellent speakers and content, a great intro for newer attorneys or refresher for experienced ones.”

This remarkable program assembled wonderful judges and seasoned litigators to present a comprehensive review of the 9th circuit structure, appellate motion practice, mediation program, appellate brief writing, oral argument, and post-decision practice.

To give you a glimpse of the program, this post shines a light on the first step in Initiating the Appeal in Civil Cases, and is excerpted from a discussion prepared by John F. Querio of Horvitz & Levy and Janet Schroer of Hart Wagner.

And the first step in an appeal is …. Should you appeal? 

  1. Factors to consider include:
    • Likelihood of success
    • Cost considerations (including whether to retain appellate counsel)
    • Timing considerations
    • Appeal as settlement leverage
  2. Do you have an appeal as a matter of right?
    • See the Final Judgment Rule, 28 U.S.C. § 1291
    • Review the Merger Doctrine/Reviewability of Interlocutory orders, Dupree v. Younger
  3. Think about other types of appeals as a matter of right (e.g., orders denying motions to compel arbitration under Federal Arbitration Act.
  4. What about Post-Judgment appeals (e.g., appeals from orders awarding attorney fees/costs, especially in employment and civil rights cases
  5. If there is no appeal as a matter of right, what are options for interlocutory review?
    • Petitions for permission to appeal (FRAP 5)i) Interlocutory appeals by permission (28 U.S.C. § 1292(b))
    • Entry of separate judgment as to fewer than all parties/claims (FRCP 54(b))
    • Writs (28 U.S.C. § 1651)

This is just the first step of many in initiating your appeal in the 9th Circuit.  To learn more, order our 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts. Since you read this post, you can take $25.00 the precorded package by using this coupon at checkout: 9thBlog25.

Heather Cline Hoganson is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Heather is one of the leading administrative law attorneys in the State of California. You don’t want to miss her presentation at our upcoming Administrative Law Hearings: A Beginner’s Guide on January 23 and 25, 2024. This two-part webinar will provide an overview of practicing administrative law, everything from pre-hearing procedures to post-hearing motions.

Heather is currently an attorney with the California Department of Health Care Access and Information. She served for eight years as a statewide research attorney to the administrative law judges of the Office of Administrative Hearings, working on such diverse subjects as developmental disabilities, special education, bid protests, and professional licensing. She then served as counsel to the California Gambling Control Commission, reviewing transactional and license applications as well as drafting regulations for both tribal casinos and California cardrooms.

Heather has provided advice to government agencies and lectured on Administrative Hearings, Regulations, Procurement / Bid Protests, Disciplinary Guidelines for Cardrooms, among other topics. She is the Bylined Author of over twenty articles for Sacramento Lawyer.

She was honored with the 2007 SCBA President’s Award for her work as Co-Editor of Sacramento Lawyer Magazine. Heather is also an active member of the Sacramento Bar Association, taking on almost every single leadership role that has been imagined by the organization, including but not limited to President (2016), Chair of Membership Committee (2016-2017), Chair of Bylaws Committee (2016-2017). And she has served as Chair, Administrative Law section for 2002-2003, 2013-2014.

Heather graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and from the University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law with her Juris Doctorate and with a Government Affairs Certificate.

Thank you for sharing your expertise and unparalleled insight with us, Heather!

Avoiding Procedural Traps on Appeal: Part 2 – Tips 11-20

In our previous blog post, Avoiding Procedural Traps on Appeal: Part 1, we featured the first 10 tips recommended by Judge Rebecca Glasgow of the Washington State Court of Appeals and Ian Cairns of Smith Goodfriend to ensure you avoid procedural traps when filing an appeal. In this week’s post, complete your knowledge by reading the remaining essential tips! You can download the full presentation of our 7th Annual Advanced Appellate Program (Washington) here.

11Failure to provide a sufficient record

  1. “An insufficient record on appeal precludes review of the alleged errors.” Bulzomi v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus., 72 Wn. App. 522, 525, 864 P.2d 996 (1994).
  2. Make an adequate record below, e.g., filing proposed instructions, making sure colloquies and rulings are recorded, and making offers of proof.
  3. Designate that record in the appellate court. See generally Title 9 of the RAPs.

12. Inviting Error

  1. “The doctrine of invited error ‘prohibits a party from setting up an error at trial and then complaining of it on appeal.’” State v. Wakefield, 130 Wn.2d 464, 475, 925 P.2d 183 (1996) (quoting State v. Pam, 101 Wn.2d 507, 511, 680 P.2d 762 (1984)).
  2. Don’t raise arguments subject to an invited error rebuttal where possible.
  3. Be prepared to explain how the alleged error was not actually “invited,” i.e., “an affirmative, knowing, and voluntary act,” State v. Mercado, 181 Wn. App. 624, 630, 326 P.3d 154 (2014), or to argue potential exceptions to the rule.

13. Judicial Estoppel

  1. Sometimes arises for the first time on appeal if arguing a party is taking a position contrary to one taken below.
  2. Preclusion of inconsistent positions regarding factual assertions.
  3. Precludes a party from taking one position below and then later trying to gain a tactical advantage by taking an opposite position.
  4. Does not prevent alternative arguments.

14. Raising new arguments on appeal

  1. “As a general rule, appellate courts will not consider issues raised for the first time on appeal.” State v. McFarland, 127 Wn.2d 322, 332-33, 899 P.2d 1251 (1995) (citing RAP 2.5(a)).
  2. If the time for doing so has not expired, consider filing a motion for reconsideration to more squarely preserve and frame appellate arguments.
  3. Under limited circumstances a party may raise new arguments on appeal. See RAP 2.5(a). Chapter 11 of the WSBA Appellate Practice Deskbook has comprehensive lists of issues that can and cannot be raised for the first time on appeal.
  4. There are also a number of case law exceptions to the general rule that new issues may not be heard on appeal. See § 11.4 of the WSBA Appellate Practice Deskbook.

15. Raising evidentiary issues on appeal

  1. If a trial court overrules an objection, then appellant cannot raise alternative ground for excluding evidence on appeal. The appellant must stick with the argument raised below. State v. Mak, 105 Wn.2d 692, 719, 718 P.2d 407 (1986). See also § 11.7(1)(a)(ii) of the WSBA Appellate Practice Deskbook.

16. Law of the Case doctrine

  1. On appeal. governed by RAP 2.5(c).

17. Raising new issues in a reply brief

  1. “An issue raised and argued for the first time in a reply brief is too late to warrant consideration.” Cowiche Canyon Conservancy v. Bosley, 118 Wn.2d 801, 809, 828 P.2d 549 (1992).
  2. Plan ahead! Make sure to include all assignments of error (and supporting arguments) necessary for the court to grant you the relief you are requesting, e.g., if asking for the reversal of a jury’s general verdict, challenge all claims that might support the verdict.
  3. While parties cannot raise new issues in a reply brief, “parties can clearly cite additional authority on appeal in support of issues they have already raised.” Brutsche v. City of Kent, 164 Wn.2d 664, 671 n.3, 193 P.3d 110 (2008).

18. Incorporating arguments by reference

  1. “We do not permit litigants to use incorporation by reference as a means to argue on appeal or to escape the [length] limits for briefs.” Diversified Wood Recycling, Inc. v. Johnson, 161 Wn. App. 859, 890, 251 P.3d 293 (2011).
  2. Make space in your brief for important arguments. If you absolutely must, file a motion for an overlength brief rather than incorporate an argument by reference. See RAP 10.4(b).

19. Placing arguments in a footnote

  1. After completing a draft of your brief, review footnotes to consider 1) whether they are necessary, and, if so, 2) whether they should be moved into the body of the brief.

20. Respondent’s failure to argue harmless error 

  1. Respondent: be sure to consider harmless error
  2. See, e.g., State v. Charlton, No. 55544-1-II, 515 P.3d 537, 547 (2022).

Michael Asimow is our Latest Featured Speaker!

The spotlight today is on Michael Asimow!  Michael will be presenting at our upcoming Administrative Law Hearings: A Beginner’s Guide on January 23 and January 25, 2024. This two-part webinar will provide the fundamentals of California administrative adjudication, everything from the Administrative Adjudication Bill of Rights to discovery and the prehearing process.

Praised by audiences for his excellent knowledge and memorable presentation, Michael frequently speaks at our administrative law programs, including Writs of Administrative Mandamus 101: The Nuts and Bolts in 2022 and Administrative Law Hearings: A Beginner’s Guide (California) in 2021.

Michael teaches at Santa Clara University School of Law. He was previously a long-term visiting professor at Stanford Law School and is a professor of law emeritus at UCLA.

In the area of administrative law, he is a co-author of the California Practice Guide–Administrative Law, published by the Rutter Group. He also co-authored a law school course book, State and Federal Administrative Law (5th ed., 2020). Michael has written numerous articles on state and federal administrative law as well as comparative administrative law. He is also a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States.

Looking forward to your discussion on administrative law, Michael!

Avoiding Procedural Traps on Appeal: Part I – Tips 1-10

Seeking a comprehensive review of proper appellate procedure in Washington state court? Hear from the experts!

Below are the first 10 tips recommended by The Honorable Rebecca Glasgow and Ian Cairns of Smith Goodfriend during our 7th Annual Advanced Appellate Program (Washington), which is available for download here.

  1. Failure to timely a notice of appeal
    1. Generally, the notice of appeal is due within 30 days of entry of the appealed order. See RAP 5.2(a).
    2. Exceptions to the 30-day rule:
      1. Certain posttrial motions extend the time for filing (e.g., a CR 59 motion for new trial or reconsideration, etc.). See RAP 5.2(e); RAP 2.4(c).
      2. Statutory deadlines. A list of applicable statutes is available in the drafters’ comments to RAP 5.2 and in Tegland’s Appellate Practice Deskbook.
      3. An order does not have to be labeled a “final judgment” to be one.
  2. Appeal as a matter of right
    1. See RAP 2.2(a) for a list of appealable orders.
      1. If an order is not on this list, it is not appealable and a party must instead seek discretionary review under RAP 2.3.
    2. For review of decisions of courts of limited jurisdiction, see RAP 2.2(c).
  3. Failure to timely file a notice of discretionary review
    1. A notice of discretionary review is due 30 days from any non-appealable act by the trial court. See RAP 2.3. An “act” does not have to be memorialized by an order to start the clock.
  4. Respondent’s failure to timely cross-appeal
    1. The “appellate court will grant a respondent affirmative relief by modifying the decision which is the subject matter of the review only (1) if the respondent also seeks review of the decision by the timely filing of a notice of appeal or a notice of discretionary review, or (2) if demanded by the necessities of the case.” See RAP 2.4(a).
    2. A respondent presenting an alternative basis for affirmance, as opposed to seeking affirmative relief, need not cross-appeal. See McGowan v. State, 148 Wn.2d 278, 287-88, 60 P.3d 67 (2002).
  5. Failure to designate orders in a notice of appeal.
    1. The appellate court will review orders (or portions of orders) that have been designated in the notice of appeal or notice of discretionary review. See RAP 2.4(a).
    2. If a trial court order or ruling is not designated in the notice, the appellate court will review if the order “prejudicially affects the decision designated in the notice.” See RAP 2.4(b).
  6. Jurisdiction
    1. Minimum dollar amount ($200) limits jurisdiction in Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. RCW 2.06.030; RCW 2.04.010. “Original amount in controversy”
    2. Subject matter jurisdiction can be raised at any time
  7. Aggrieved party and standing
    1. Only an aggrieved party may seek appellate review. See RAP 3.1.
    2. An aggrieved party is one whose proprietary, pecuniary, or personal rights are substantially affected. Randy Reynolds & Assocs., Inc. v. Harmon, 193 Wn.2d 143, 150, 437 P.3d 677 (2019).
  8. Mootness/Ripeness
    1. “A case is moot if a court can no longer provide effective relief.” State v. Gentry, 125 Wn.2d 570, 616, 888 P.2d 1105 (1995).
    2. For relevant mootness rules, see RAP 8.3; 18.12,
    3. Parties seeking dismissal should bring a motion if a case becomes moot mid-appeal.
    4. Ripeness generally arises in criminal cases where there is a vagueness challenge, in cases involving the Administrative Procedures Act, and in cases involving the constitutionality of statutes.
  9. Failure to assign error
    1.  Briefs should include concise assignments of error. See RAP 10.3(a)(4).
    2. Provide separate assignments of error for each jury instruction improperly proposed, given, or refused. See RAP 10.3(g).
    3. Unchallenged findings of fact are verities on appeal.
    4. The appellate court does have discretion to review unassigned errors “if the issues are reasonably clear from the arguments in the brief, the opposing party has not been prejudiced, and the court has not been overly inconvenienced.” State v. Croy, 3 Wn. App. 2d 1067, 2018 WL 2437316, at *3 (2018) (citing State v. Olson, 126 Wn.2d 315, 323, 893 P.2d 629 (1995)).
    5. However, to be safe, make sure to include assignments of error and err on the side of being overinclusive in assignments. Include assignments of error that are specific without including argument.
  10. Failure to support assignments of error
    1. “A party that offers no argument in its opening brief on a claimed assignment of error waives the assignment.” Brown v. Vail, 169 Wn.2d 318, 336 n. 11, 237 P.3d 263 (2010).
    2.  After finishing a draft of the opening brief, compare the assignments of error to the arguments to confirm each assignment is supported.
    3. Include references in the assignments of error to the brief sections with the corresponding argument and vice versa.

See the final 10 tips in our next blog!

Justice Jesse G. Reyes is Running for the Illinois Supreme Court

Justice Jesse G. Reyes of the Illinois Appellate Court (1st District) is running for the Illinois Supreme Court 2024 bench!

Justice Reyes gave an enthralling presentation at our program, Preserving the Trial Record for Appeal in Illinois Civil Cases. Justice Reyes has been overwhelmingly praised for his extraordinary insight into the legal system. He has been a pillar of the community and a member of the judiciary since 1997, serving both as an associate and elected judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. In 2012, Justice Reyes became the first Latino to be elected to the Illinois Appellate Court.

Raised in humble beginnings in Chicago’s Pilsen and Bridgeport neighborhoods, Justice Reyes aspired to be a lawyer for as long as he could remember. Justice Reyes’s intellect and ambition are bolstered by his voracious appetite for reading books and sharing stories with his vast associations.

Justice Reyes is a recipient of several awards for distinguished service to the bench and bar including the Justice John Paul Stevens Award by the Chicago Bar Association, the Charles E. Freeman Judicial Merit Award by the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, and the Vanguard Award by the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois.

The primary election will occur on March 19, 2024. Go vote! There is no one more qualified and dedicated to public service than Justice Jesse G. Reyes!

Nadine Wichern is Running for Circuit Judge of Cook County Chicago

One of our favorite speakers, NADINE WICHERN, is running for judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County! We highly recommend Nadine for the judgeship!

Nadine has frequently spoken at our programs, enlightening audiences about appellate litigation. These programs include Preserving the Trial Record for Appeal in Illinois Civil Cases, Persuasive Appellate Brief Writing, and our Appellate Practice Boot Camp.

Nadine has been lauded as an exceptional speaker and attorney, with a wealth of knowledge. She has an innate ability to connect with the audience at teach attorneys what they need to know about the subject matter in an understandable, clear and concise manner.

For more than two decades, Nadine has lived in Chicago and has built a prominent career in law dedicated entirely to public service. Nadine was selected for a prestigious clerkship on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and a fellowship before the United States Supreme Court. She has also litigated scores of appeals while serving as Chief of the Civil Appeals Division in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the City of Chicago’s Department of Law.

Primary elections are on March 19, 2024. Support Nadine at the polls and VOTE!