I am fixing to take my case into appeals court. I know that the court website has a description of how to format any petition for writ of mandate or something, but I am a visual learner. I am looking for a template brief that not only has an exampe of the format, but a good way to structure the brief. Is there some place I can go for this type of thing online?
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Going through an appeal as a lay person is simply not wise. Every single appeal panel I have ever appeared before when a pro se (pro per in California) party is present is told by the justices to go hire a lawyer. There is good reason for this.
Even the most meritorious legal position is put at risk by going to appeal without skilled appellate counsel.
Good luck to you.
NOTE: This observation is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. This observation is not like a communication with a lawyer with whom you have an attorney-client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Most law libraries have practice guides on appellate law that have specific formats for the mandatory title page, tables of contents and authorities, and the other sections of the brief. Some of the most detailed are published by CEB (Continuing Education of the Bar), which provides ongoing education for lawyers. You can also visit the Court of Appeals and review the briefing in a case.
Keep in mind that appeals are very technical in nature, and the real substance is in the research and writing. A template won't be able to address your specific issues.
You must also file the correct document. Are you trying to file an appeal, or is it a petition for a writ of mandate? Are you sure that's the correct vehicle to address your issues.
In addition, the Court of Appeals has specific rules that must be followed. They are so specific that your brief may be rejected for using the wrong page of paper for the cover, failing to bind your brief (or, if it is stapled, failing to properly tape over the staples), or failing to include a sworn statement with the number of words in your brief.
Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.
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