Appellate Litigator

While representing appellants, Myron Moskovitz has won over 80% of his published appellate cases — a cut above the average 20% reversal rate for civil appeals. Learn more about his career in appeals:

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Appellate Consultant

When other attorneys look for help with an appeal cases, they turn to Myron Moskovitz. He has helped hundreds of lawyers analyze their cases, write briefs, and prepare for oral argument.

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Appellate Teacher

Myron Moskovitz has taught lawyers throughout California how to strategize their writing to persuade judges. His book, Winning An Appeal, is a resource used by lawyers all over the country.

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APPEALS COURTS DON’T MERELY “FOLLOW THE LAW”.

I recently received a note from a lawyer who lost a case on appeal. He complained that the appellate court had failed to follow several binding Supreme Court cases. Here’s what I told him: Sorry about your loss. I don’t know the facts of your case, so I can’t tell whether I would have advised [...]

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The Golden Rule of Persuasion

Put Yourself In The Shoes of the Decider. This is The Golden Rule of Persuasion. All other rules flow from this one. I learned it from my father, when I was nine years old. Dad had a small men’s clothing store in San Francisco. One day he took me to a trade show, where wholesalers [...]

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Two Ways to Win Appeals

There are two ways to win appeals. First, don’t take the losers. Second, win the winners. I do both. The two ways are related. Indeed, they are based on the same principles and insights. When someone asks me to handle an appeal, I tell them I’ll take the case in two stages. First, I’ll examine [...]

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NEVER READ A SPEECH AT ORAL ARGUMENT

Prepare well for oral argument, but do not read a pre-written speech to the Justices. They don’t like it, and they won’t hear a word you say, because the whole time they will be thinking “Why is this lawyer reading to us instead of relating to us?”. Reading a speech wastes their time. They have [...]

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FROM TEACHING TO APPEALS

Well, I just finished grading my last exam – “last” as in forever! Yes, I’m retiring from teaching law at Golden Gate. Four decades is enough at one job, don’t you think? But I’m not retiring from working. My part time appellate practice will become full time. So I’d welcome more work of the type [...]

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WARNING: CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT INVALID FOR FAILURE TO MENTION “RELATED CASES”

In Alioto v. Hoiles, 2013 WL 3963889 (10th Cir. 2013) (unpublished), a federal appeals court taught us a lesson in why we need to be careful in drafting our own contingent fee agreements. The lawyer wrote an agreement giving him 15% of the recovery. The case was settled for $142 million, so the lawyer asked [...]

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GREAT LINE IN AN APPELLATE BRIEF

I’m now working on case, defending against an appeal from a motion to set aside a default judgment (for over $5 million!). In my research, I just came across one of the greatest lines I’ve seen in a brief, filed in a similar case. In Khourie, Crew & Jaeger v. Sabek, Inc. (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d [...]

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Supreme Court “Depublishes” Opinion That Would Have Hurt Tenants

In Hendleman v. Los Altos Apts, the Court of Appeal wrote a published opinion affirming the dismissal of a class action brought by tenants of an L.A. apartment building who sought damages for the landlord’s failure to maintain the building. I helped the tenants’ attorney seek Supreme Court review. We focused on one issue: a [...]

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A NEW LOW IN APPELLATE BRIEFING

In People v. Freeman (2013) ___ Cal.App.4th ___, Calif. Court of Appeal No. 2d Crim. No. B237613, Freeman retained attorney Steve Pell to appeal his conviction and life sentence. The Court of Appeal granted the Attorney General’s motion to strike Pell’s first and second efforts to file an opening brief, because “The briefs failed to [...]

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RECENT LANDLORD-TENANT CASES

I prepared the summaries for the next supplement of CEB’s California Landlord-Tenant Practice. – mm “Normal business hours”, as used in CC 1954, includes weekends, where the owner wants to hold open houses to show the dwelling to prospective purchasers. Dromy v. Lukovsky (2013) 219 CA4th 278, 161 CR3d 665. The court upheld the judgment, [...]

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