• Is This Appealable?
  • October 28, 2014 | Author: Laurie Hepler
  • Law Firm: Carroll, Burdick & McDonough LLP - San Francisco Office
  • It's October, and that means Giants in the playoffs (even-numbered years!) and time again for the semi-annual "Is This Appealable?" As longtime readers know, this is a rotating selection of the adverse orders that trial lawyers ask me about most often. These answers apply 95% of the time in California state courts, but every adverse order deserves careful assessment to determine its appealability (or reviewability by writ).

    5. Is an order denying a venue transfer appealable?

    NO. There is only one option for review: a petition for writ of mandate filed within 20 days. (Code Civ. Proc., §400)

    4. Is an order granting or denying a motion to disqualify counsel appealable?

    YES as to both. But depending on the circumstances, a writ petition combined with a stay may be the only meaningful avenue of relief.

    3. Is a judgment for one defendant appealable, while other defendants remain in the case?

    YES, as long as the judgment disposes of all claims against that one defendant.

    2. How about that awful discovery order, requiring the client to turn over years’ worth of files containing sensitive business information?

    NO. You’ll need to write a great writ petition, really fast - and get a stay from the trial court or Court of Appeal.

    1. Is an order granting a nonsuit appealable?

    YES, if it’s a written order, signed by the judge and filed.

    The practical message: Whenever you suffer an important loss, study the statutes controlling appealability, as well as the particular statute controlling the motion or application, and relevant cases. If you cannot reach absolute certainty on whether it's appealable, call someone who can, because the stakes are “do-or-die.” The same goes for a big pre-judgment win, since you should always know your opponents' options better than they do.