California’s best appellate lawyers? They’re all here.

If this were “Final Jeopardy” and the clue was Dan Smith, Martin Buchanan, Donna Bader, Norm Pine, Bev Pine, Valerie McGinty, and Jim Mahacek, do you know what the answer would be? How about – name some of the best appellate lawyers in California? All of them have submitted articles for this year’s issue on appeals and law-and-motion.The corporate attorneys are recognized for providing exceptional legal service to a broad range of business.


Dan Smith has submitted an article on “winning on summary judgment.” Lawyers who read the article, and take his wisdom to heart, will get better outcomes. Dan’s law partner, Valerie McGinty, has also provided an excellent article, on how to win a new-trial motion. Valerie is not only Dan’s partner – she is also his daughter. She has clearly made the most of having an outstanding mentor.


Donna Bader, an Orange County appellate lawyer has submitted an article on how the recent decision in Reid u Google changes the rules concerning evidentiary objections.

My friend from San Diego, Martin Buchanan, has written a primer on how an attorney arguing an appeal should respond to questions from the bench. Lawyers facing their first argument, and old-hands alike, will benefit from Martin’s advice. Orange County appellate lawyer Jim R Mahacek has given us his take on how appellate argument has changed in the last couple of decades, and why it still matters today.


And Norm Pine and Beverly Pine, law partners and spouses, have submitted an article exploring the differences between trial lawyers and appellate lawyers. I am hopeful it will allow trial lawyers to better understand why appellate law can seem so . . . different.

But wait; there’s more

Gretchen Nelson – a former President of the LA. County Bar, and a CAALA board member, has given us an article on the use of damages experts in business and consumer class actions. Her article will be of great use to lawyers drafting a class-certification motion.

E-discovery is here; just check the discovery provisions in the Code of Civil Procedure, or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Nick Brestoff argues that plaintiffs’ lawyers seem to be among the last to embrace e-discovery and to use it. Nick explains in concrete terms how’ e-discovery can help plaintiffs’ lawyers win their cases, and how to do it in a way that is economically rational for many cases. Lawyers in 2010 need to know this stuff.


Finally, Anthony Gamboa, Phillip Sidlow and Enrique Vega continue with part 3 of their series on economic dam-ages – with this part explaining the determination of economic losses in cases involving an infant.


I want to thank all the authors who contributed articles to this month’s Advocate, which is outstanding because of their efforts. And, as always, I want to thank the folks on the production side of the magazine, including CAALAs own Cindy Cantu; Advocate’s publisher, Rich Neubauer; and people who work for Rich, including Eileen Goss and David Knopf. You may not know their names, but you see their excellent work in your hands. 

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