California Appeals - State Courts


Attorney Referrals

The law firm of Michael T. Chulak & Associates handles appeals throughout the State of California. Regardless of which side you are, we can assist you.

Often, the issue on appeal has nothing to do with the nature of the underlying case. For example, the underlying case may have been about a serious personal injury, but the appeal might be about a procedural or jurisdictional issue.

Trial courts are not perfect and sometimes make major errors. An appeal can be an opportunity to obtain justice when it was previously denied. Sometimes an appeal puts a party into a strong position to settle a case on favorable terms without having to go through another trial. There are times when the prevailing party in the trial court does not want to risk a reversal or reduced judgment.

An appellant will be required to post a bond or other security if he or she wants to stay the enforcement of a money judgment and will be required to pay interest on the judgment if it is later paid.

Making the decision to file an appeal can be very difficult. We are prepared to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of appealing your case and can provide you with a fixed fee quote for legal services if you decide to appeal your case. Our firm also defends appeals and can provide you with a quote should you be required to defend an appeal. In some cases, it may be advisable to file a cross-appeal if you are defending an appeal.

Flat fees for filing appeals are generally between $12,500 and $35,000 or more, depending on the length of the trial court proceedings, the size of the record, and the number and complexity of the legal issues involved. Flat fees for defending appeals are generally between $9,500 and $25,000. Flat fees include all research and in-house support and overhead costs. Outside expenses such as filing fees, court charges for transcripts, copies, and messenger fees are additional costs paid by the client.

If you are considering an appeal, or must defend an appeal, we would be pleased to provide you with a no-cost initial consultation.



Glossary of Appeals Terms

Appellate Court

The court that handles appeals.


The party that brings an appeal.


The term used in federal court for the party defending an appeal. In state court, the party defending an appeal is called the "respondent".


The bound volume(s) of documents filed in the trial court that can be made part of the record before the California Court of Appeal. This is the alternative to having a "Clerk's Transcript" (see below). The primary difference is that the trial court compiles the Clerk's Transcript based on instructions given shortly after the Notice of Appeal is filed, whereas the parties themselves prepare the Appendix (separately or jointly) and file it with the Court of Appeal together with their Briefs. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method.


The written argument that is filed with the Appellate Court as part of the appeals process.

Clerk's Transcript

The bound volume(s) of documents filed in the trial court and the transcripts of what was actually said in court. Compare to "Appendix".

Court of Appeal

This is the name of the California appellate court. Note that the word "Appeal" is singular.

Court of Appeals

This is name of the federal appellate court. Note that the word "Appeals" is plural.

Interlocutory appeals

This is an appeal that is filed before the final judgment in the case from which it arises. In most situations, an interlocutory appeal would be premature and subject to dismissal without review on the merits. However, in some situations, a party must file an appeal on an interlocutory basis or waive the issue forever. If an interlocutory appeal is not appropriate, a party could in the alternative, consider seeking early appellate review by means of a writ.


This is the title of a judge in the California Court of Appeal (e.g., "Justice Doe", not "Judge Doe".)

Reporter's Transcript

This is the transcribed proceedings of what took place in the trial court.


This is the term used in state court for the party defending an appeal. In federal court, this party is called the "appellee".


This is an order from a higher court ordering a lower court to do something. Writs provide a discretionary process for review by appellate courts of trial court rulings that are not immediately appealable.







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