Benefits of Having a Certified Appellate Law Specialist In Your Family Court Case in Orange County, CA

By Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP | Feb 15, 2024

If you’re amidst legal proceedings, you may want to know the benefits of having a certified appellate law specialist in your family court case in Orange County, CA. It’s important to learn about the details of appellate court and the benefits of hiring a qualified appeals lawyer. Certified appellate law specialists are well-equipped, determined, and experienced in trial and appellate matters in all aspects of family law.

Writs vs. Appeals in California Family Law

When your family law case is at trial, and you expect an unfavorable outcome, you may consider consulting with an appeals lawyer to see if you can take further legal action. Once the trial court makes a final judgment, you have a limited window of time to officially file your appeal. By filing an appeal, you are requesting a higher court to undo the initial court’s decision.

Appeals require the person submitting the appeal, the appellant, to submit relevant parts from the trial record to the Court of Appeal, in addition to a written brief. A panel of three judges from the court will review the case to determine if any mistakes were made that affected the initial judgment; if so, they will approve the motion to appeal the decision. Appeals and writs may be used in all applicable family law cases, including divorce, child custody, and alimony.

Writ orders are a similar and often more prioritized process, but the decisions are discretionary and don’t require any explanation from the appellate court. In contrast, an appeal decision requires the reviewing judges to respond with an accompanying written argument explaining their decision. A writ is an order from a higher court requesting that a lower court takes a certain action. Whether it’s a request for a writ review or a notice of appeal, the Court of Appeals does not review any new evidence.

How a Certified Appellate Law Specialist Can Assist You

Enlisting the help of a legal specialist who’s certified in family law and the appeals process is a wise decision, as their experience and knowledge are quality, valuable resources. You may choose to work with a family law specialist as your general family law attorney. Additionally, you may decide to seek the guidance of an appeals specialist while in the middle of or approaching the conclusion of your case as you begin to sense a need for an appeal.

Your certified appellate specialist can assist you in filing the notice of appeal and other fundamental steps in the legal process. Perhaps most importantly, they can help you in drafting the written brief that will eventually be submitted or presented to the Court of Appeal.

This document is a concise outline of the overall argument of your appeal request and contains the details of your situation, evidence, and laws pointing to the error or mishandling in question. The brief must be clear and effective in proving that the aforementioned issues are what led to or influenced the judgment claimed to be unlawful or untoward.

A Writ or Appeal May Not Be What Your Case Calls for

If you dislike your case’s result or a particular order, you can’t simply file an appeal to reverse it or get an alternative opinion. These legal processes only review the conduct within the trial proceedings, checking for any legal errors that affected the trial’s outcome. The reason for these procedures must be valid and relevant to achieve action concerning the verdict.

If you feel that the court’s decision regarding your case was unfair or flawed, family law allows petitions for modifications to a court order within reason. If you’re unsure which option is optimal for your case, consult with a qualified family law attorney.


Q: What Are the Writs for Family Law in California?

A: Writs for California family law are orders sent to a higher court requesting that a certain judicial action go through or be stopped. These writs may be used in cases across any of the areas within family law, including divorce, child custody, domestic violence, and alimony.

Examples of common writ requests are temporary child custody orders, orders granting or denying a change of venue, and hearings on discovery and pleading motions.

Q: How Do I Appeal a Family Law Case in CA?

A: To appeal a family law case in CA, notify the superior court within 10 days of filing and after paying certain fees.

Write a brief with case facts, relevant laws, and reasons for appeal; this will be presented to the courts. Your family lawyer can help compile this brief. An oral argument is optional, but it may help to expand upon your brief. After both parties present their arguments, the court will make a decision within 90 days.

Q: What Are the Grounds for an Appeal in California Family Court?

A: The grounds for an appeal in California Family Court are legal mistakes that influenced the case’s outcome. Appeals are filed when a party disagrees with the court’s decision, but there must be a valid reason; you cannot have a verdict appealed for simply being dissatisfied.

The appellate court will look into the trial court record rather than new evidence to determine if such a mistake occurred. The legal mistake may be a prejudicial error or a lack of sufficient evidence.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Appeal a Case in California?

A: It costs at least $775 to appeal a case in California, paid to the Court of Appeal. This doesn’t include additional fees the trial court applies, such as for the retrieval of certain evidence, the trial record, or other procedural court filings and deposits.

Payments are required for any subsequent appeals or cross-appeals. You must pay all fees, or your appeal could be dismissed. If you cannot afford them, you can request a waiver to absolve you of any payment.

If You’re Considering Filing an Appeal, Talk to a Certified Appellate Professional

Consult with an appeals attorney at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, today to get an assessment of your situation and begin preparing for your appeals or writ. We can answer all your questions and help you every step of the way.

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