I generally agree with my colleagues. But to add some information:
Technically speaking, she has the "right" to appeal the judgment to the State Court of Appeal, as long as she files the Notice of Appeal on time (within 60 days of the date the judgment was mailed to you by the clerk of the court).
But that appeal will go nowhere because the judgment was stipulated, and if she went ahead with it you could seek an award of attorneys fees and other expenses against her for prosecuting a...
You should not force your attorney to continue to represent you, and the chances are great that the Court of Appeal will grant the motion to withdraw regardless of your opposition.
I recommend that you instead spend your time locating and retaining appellate counsel. It should not take very long to find one if your case has merit.
As for time, once the Notice of Appeal has been filed, the Court of Appeal tends to be generous about allowing you additional time to take steps such...
Your ex cannot simply "appeal" the judgment and msa. She instead would have to file an RFO to vacate (set aside) the msa, and she needs to demonstrate something more than a change of heart. "Distress" is generally not a reason that allows a judge to set aside the msa, because all divorces are stressful. What could make a difference in her favor is if you had an attorney and she did not, or the settlement is grossly unfair on its face, or you both failed to exchange preliminary financial...
I am not an expert on the appointment of public defenders, but I believe that if you are charged in a state court (Superior Court) you get a state public defender; if you are facing trial in a federal court (federal district) you get a federal public defender. I don't believe that you have a choice. Perhaps others know whether there is some way around this system.
Your questions are well taken, but much too complex for anyone to answer by way of AVVO. You need an in depth consultation with an appellate attorney, and you need to do that now before more time runs out.
I think that you misunderstand the meaning of the litigation privilege. It protects parties from liability for statements made in judicial proceedings; in other words, you cannot sue a party for damages resulting from statements made in a legal proceeding (with one narrow exception for malicious prosecution).
The privilege does not mean, however, that the previous statement cannot be offered into evidence in a new proceeding as, for example, a prior inconsistent statement or other...
Assuming that you are representing yourself in pro per (as it appears) the defendant's attorney can contact you directly. That would only be improper if you are representing by an attorney and the defendant's attorney is aware of that representation.
If the attorney can contact you directly nothing prevents that attorney from doing so through a relative. While it might not show tact, it is not unethical. The attorney does not owe you any duties of confidentiality or, for that matter,...
Your cousin (or you) should immediately contact the California Appellate Project ("CAP"), which provides appellate level defense attorneys for convicted defendants who cannot afford to pay for private appellate counsel. Whether or not your cousin qualifies for CAP representation is up to that organization.
Here is the contact information for CAP:
California Appellate Project
Los Angeles Office
520 S. Grand Avenue, 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071