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I lost my civil case. I am appealing it. The contract I signed was submitted as evidence by the defendants. Can I bring up.....

Santa Ana, CA |

anything in the contract during my oral argument, or am I limited only to what was said during my trial about certain portions of the contract?..thank you

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Attorney answers 5


This is impossible to analyze without knowing a lot more about your case.

In general, however, arguments not made to the trial court cannot be raised for the first time on appeal -- and especially cannot be raised for the first time during oral argument if they are not raised in the briefs.

You may benefit from an hour of an attorney's time to talk about how to approach the oral argument, and to answer specific questions like this.


An appeal is about the trial. New evidence may not be used, and new theories may not be presented.

Hire counsel for the appeal. Good luck


You cannot raise new arguments on appeal. In fact, given how close your hearing is, I should also say, you cannot raise new arguments not raised in your briefs at the oral argument.

Your multiple posts over the last week or so clearly indicates that unless you very quickly engage counsel to handle your oral argument, or at the very least to advise you on the oral argument, you will likely have a very bad day. Remember: no new evidence, no new arguments, everything is about what happened at the trial, nothing is about trying to win again. If you do not understand these most basic concepts about appeal, you will be shut down quickly and you will not have an effective oral argument.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


I agree with prior counsel BUT if the contract itself is part of evidence I see no reason you cannot point to that part of it. Still, no new arguments are generally allowed. Of course Oral argument is different than written. Should be an interesting path to navigate...


Your question is not absolutely clear. You can't bring up evidence on appeal that was not considered by the trial court. Here, the contract was submitted as evidence so it is part of the record. You cannot bring up an entirely new argument on appeal. You can, however, augment and clarify an argument that was made, but poorly made in the trial court. Some arguments will be clearly on one side -- they were argued below, and you can argue them on appeal. Some arguments are clearly on the other side -- the argument is entirely new. Some arguments will be in a gray area. I will always make those arguments that fall into that gray area. Here, you appear to be asking if you can make a new argument at oral argument. Realize that by the time you get to oral argument the draft of the opinion will have already been written. Can you argue something new in oral argument? Well, they won't throw you out of the court, but they won't consider a new argument. If you are arguing in pro per at oral argument the court will be very polite to you as long as you are polite to the court.

Answering this question does not create an attorney client relationship. Attorney answers the question based upon vague, general information presented by the person who has posted the question. Attorney's answer may or may not be correct. Attorney makes no warranties as her answer. In order to answer the question accurately Attorney would need to examine the entire file from this action.

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