Coda: Decision from California Appellate Court

The California Appellate Court issued its decision in my case on December 30, 2010.  That's just two weeks after oral argument.  (Sweet, sweet victory:  Decision.pdf.)

We have to try better, East Coast.  This is embarrassing.

Appeals, California-Style: Why Does it Take So Long to Get a Decision on the East Coast?

On December 16, 2010, I argued before the California Second Appellate District in an appeal of investment banking fee dispute decision in my client’s favor. We won big, and now the other side does not want to pay. But, I digress.

Being a dyed-in-the-wool East Coast gal (and a bit of a nerd), I am fascinated by the differences in how the lawyers and judges interact. For example, they don’t even stand when making objections during trial out here. I would be tarred and feathered if I tried that in some courts back East.

But one thing that East Coast courts should adopt immediately is speedy decisions on appeals. That’s right – quick appellate decisions. Preparing for oral argument with Staci Riordan of our L.A. office, she told me that the appellate judges in California come to oral argument having read the briefs and reviewed the record, and having discussed the case among themselves. They often have the decision drafted before argument, thanks to the army of law students who volunteer with them. Staci said that the decision is likely to be released shortly after the argument.

Ponder that for a moment: the California Second Appellate District – the district covering the busiest courthouse in the United States – releases its decisions shortly after argument.

In my world, appellate decisions are released when the court gets around to it. Often months, sometimes years, after argument.

Perhaps Connecticut’s and New York’s appellate courts could use an army of law students. The 10 or so law schools in the area certainly have enough smart students looking for experience.