Hopkins & Carley has a nationwide appellate practice with a team of attorneys focused on briefing and arguing significant cases before the United States Supreme Court, California State Supreme Court, federal and state courts of appeal throughout California, and reviewing courts in other states.
The experienced group, led by Allonn Levy, a California Certified Appellate Specialist, has been involved in multiple cases before the country’s highest court and numerous cases before the California Supreme Court. Three of our practitioners are admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and at least 15 have prior experience working within various reviewing courts, including our past firm Managing Shareholder who served as a judicial clerk to California Supreme Court Justice Allen E. Broussard.
The services we provide include:
- Interlocutory and post-judgment appeals
- Petitions for writs of mandate or prohibition
- Amicus briefs and amicus counseling
- Petitions for review or certiorari
- Petitions for writ of supersedeas
- Trial court or administrative agency record analysis
- Trial level advice on prospective appellate issues
Provide Value at All Stages of Litigation
Our collaborative approach ensures that before a matter even reaches the appellate phase, the firm’s appellate lawyers are working together with trial teams to ensure that issues are persuasively framed and preserved for appeal. We are routinely involved in providing counsel at all stages of litigation, researching and drafting appellate briefs, and preparing for and conducting oral argument.
The tone and presentation required at the appellate level differs from that required at trial; so too are there differences in preferred presentation between state and federal intermediate courts and certainly between intermediate and Supreme Courts. Our grasp of these layered nuances are part of what sets us apart from other appellate groups.
A key aspect of our success is the coordination between our appellate advocates and our attorneys in numerous areas of substantive law, including:
- Trust and estate
- Intellectual property
- Employment law
- Commercial contracts and disputes
- Real estate
- Land use and property rights
Our group has handled countless appeals and been involved in generating over 30 precedent-setting, published decisions.
Published Cases of Note
CA Supreme Court
- DVD Copy Control Assoc., Inc. v Bunner, 31 Cal. 4th 864, 4 Cal. Rptr. 3d 69, 75 P.3d 1
- Pavlovich v. Superior Court, 29 Cal. 4th 462, 127 Cal. Rptr. 2d 329, 58 P.3d 2
Intermediate Courts of Review
- Vera v. REL-BC, LLC, SNL Real Estate Solutions LLC, et.al, 66 Cal.App.5th 57, 281 Cal.Rptr.3d 45 (consolidated appeals)
- In re Cutuli, 389 F.Supp.3d 1051 (M.D. Fla. 2019)
- Friends of Martin’s Beach v. Martin’s Beach 1 LLC, 246 Cal.App.4th 1312, 201 Cal.Rptr.3d 516
- Eclectic Properties East, LLC v. Marcus & Millichap Co., No. 12-16526 (9th Cir. 2014) 751 F.3d 990
- Winchester Mystery House LLC v. Global Asylum Inc., 210 Cal. App. 4th 579, 148 Cal. Rptr. 3d 412
- Hopkins & Carley v. Gens, 200 Cal. App. 4th 1401, 135 Cal. Rptr. 3d 1
- Manson v. Shepherd, et al., Court of Appeal, S188 Cal. App. 4th 1244, 116 Cal. Rptr. 3d 1
- DVD Copy Control Association, Inc. v Bunner, 116 Cal. App. 4th 241, 10 Cal. Rptr. 3d 185
- Successfully prosecuted the first case to decide Internet-based jurisdiction in California. Following the opposing party’s successful emergency “stay” order from the U.S. Supreme Court, Hopkins & Carley’s attorneys used a procedural mechanism to provide new evidence to the High Court. Those efforts resulted in a second order by the U.S. Supreme Court reversing its own stay.
- Successfully obtained reversal of a preliminary injunction relating to alleged trade secrets on First Amendment grounds in a first-of-its-kind case in California. The case created new law at the California Supreme Court and intermediate court levels and ultimately resulted in the dismissal of the underlying case.
- Our attorneys prosecuted an appeal before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals involving a complex intellectual property dispute over an arbitration clause. The appellate strategy was coordinated with continuing trial strategies across multiple states and resulted in a favorable global settlement for the client.
- In an appeal stemming from a business dispute we successfully obtained a dismissal of an appeal before briefing the substantive issues because the appellant failed to satisfy certain procedural requirements.
- Won appeal in a case involving land rights and private easements, and constitutional issues of wrongful taking by government agencies.
- In a precedent-setting case, represented a trust in an appeal dealing with whether distributions from a corporation to the trust should be treated as principal or income, and a cross-appeal addressing whether certain costs already paid by the trust were properly allocated.
- Won unanimous ruling in an appeal involving a “Safe Harbor” petition to obtain a “pre-determination” of whether a particular action would violate a no-contest clause in a will or trust. On appeal, our team harmonized decades of complex decisions and presented a complicated statutory interpretation analysis to substantiate a position that not only safeguarded the trial team’s victory but also undercut the opposing party’s anticipated statute of limitations strategy with respect to its substantive claims.
- Successfully argued that a non-party’s request to partially decertify a published opinion (thereby “cherry-picking” parts of the precedent) exceeded the powers granted by the legislature to the Supreme Court. The High Court accepted our interpretation, denied the improper request and properly issued a sua sponte order depublishing the entire opinion.
- "Duke" Blazes a New Trail in Estate Law - California Supreme Court Reverses Course, Changing 50 Years of Precedent , July 28, 2015
- “Obliterating the Hasso Decision: New Legislation Protects Remainder Beneficiaries but Gives Income Beneficiaries a Run for Their Money”, California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, Vol. 19, Issue 3, 2013
- “Before and After: A Trustee’s Duties to Remainder Beneficiaries Before a Settlor’s Death (and After Estate of Giraldin)”, Steve Braccini, California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, Vol. 18, Issue 3, 2012