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Attorney Profiles

John L. Dodd, Esq.

JohnLDoddAppealsAttorneyLawyerJohn L. Dodd has been handling appeals throughout the State of California, on behalf of both appellants and respondents, as well as writ petitions, since 1989.  Mr. Dodd is a California Certified Appellate Specialist and is experienced in civil, family, trust and estate, juvenile, parental rights, criminal and adoption appeals.  He has filed briefs in every District of the California Court of Appeal, both in Northern and Southern California.  He also has expertise in preparing Petitions for Review for the California Supreme Court on behalf of individuals and businesses and has filed briefs in the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Dodd attended the University of California at Davis and obtained his
Bachelor of Science in Law and  Juris Doctor degrees from Western State University in Fullerton, California. He also studied International Law and Legal History at Downing College, Cambridge University, in Cambridge, England.  While in law school,  he won the “Best Oralist” award in moot court and participated on the Jessup International Law moot court team. He was an editorial board member and staff writer for the Law Review and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Awards in Property Law and Criminal Procedure.

Mr. Dodd was a staff attorney at the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, and worked in tort defense and appellate law firms before opening his own practice in 1989. Originally a combined civil litigation and appellate practice, Mr. Dodd’s practice has been devoted exclusively to appellate matters and legal research for over fifteen years.

Mr. Dodd was admitted to the California Bar in 1986 and the United States Supreme Court in 1990. He also is admitted to practice before United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits.

He also has been active in bar association and community affairs for many years. He has served as a member of the California Advisory Commission to the United States Commission on Civil rights since 2007. In 2004 John served as the Chairman of the Committee of Bar Examiners, State Bar of California, after completing three years as a Committee Member. He served from 1998 to 2001 on the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), State Bar of California. Prior to that, he served for a year on the State Bar’s Committee on Appellate courts and has assisted in drafting questions for the Appellate Specialization Exam.

More locally, Mr. Dodd was a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association for six years, from 1996 to 2002 and served on many committees, including the Conference of Delegates, the Ethics and Professionalism Task Force, the Judiciary Committee Task Force, and the Investment Policy Committee. He was the President of the Orange County Barristers in 1996 and served for many years on that board. Mr. Dodd was the chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Appellate Section in 1994 and the Program Chair in 1993.

Mr. Dodd participates in community affairs at the local, state and national level. He has been active in the Federalist Society, currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Civil Rights Practice Group. He was President of the Orange County Lawyer’s Chapter from 2004 through 2008 and has been a board member of that chapter for over 15 years.

He also has served several terms as President of the Orange County Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, as well as “Chancellor,” or chief legal officer, of the California Society, and served as President of the California Society for the 2011-2012 term. Presently, he is Chancellor General of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution.

Mr. Dodd has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell “AV Preeminent” rating, the highest possible, as well as being selected a Super Lawyer, and a Top Attorney in Orange County by Orange Coast Magazine as well as in Southern California by Los Angeles Magazine.                   

Articles and CLE presentations

Benefits of OCBA Section Membership, Orange County Lawyer, November 1994

Parental Rights Primer, Orange County Lawyer, May 1994

Book Review: Takings, Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain
(1987) 14 Western State University Law Review 639

Note: People v. Ruggles: The Ruggles, Robbins, Ross Roundabout, (1986)13 Western State University Law Review 641.

Co-Author, Federalist Society White Paper, The Case for Judicial Appointments, (1993)

Continuing Legal Education Speaker on appellate practice and related issues for:

Orange County Barristers
Orange County Bar Association, College of Appellate Advocacy
Orange County Bar Association, Appellate Section
California Academy of Adoption Lawyers
American Association of Adoption Attorneys
California Association of Appellate Defense Counsel
Chapman University School of Law
Simon Greenleaf (now Trinity) School of Law
Western Orange County Bar Association
Newport Harbor Bar Association

Notable Cases

Mr. Dodd has handled in excess of 1,000 appellate matters in the Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court. John has appeared on Donahue, American Journal, CNN and numerous news broadcasts in connection with his work. He has succeeded in approximately 100 published cases, including Johnson v. Calvert (1993) 5 Cal.4th 84;  In re Zacharia D. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 435;  In re Charlotte D. (2009) 45 Cal.4th 1140; Adoption of Joshua S. (2008) 42 Cal.4th 945; In re Marriage of Moschetta (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1218; In re Bridget R. (1996) 41 Cal.App.4th 1483; In re Santos Y. (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 1274; Frederick v. Superior Court (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 988 and In re Marriage of Samson (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 23.

CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure’s standards and policies.

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This February, the Court of Appeal filed a published opinion, granting our writ petition on a jurisdictional issue in a family law matter. Writ petitions present a procedural minefield so an appellate specialist can provide key assistance.

January's victory came in a dependency case in which the Court of Appeal reversed an order "removing" a child from a non-custodial parent. "Removal" has special significance in dependency proceedings and generally is a prerequisite to later termination of parental rights, so it is key to attack these types of orders by a timely appeal.


"I recently turned to John when I believed the trial court had made an erroneous ruling on a complicated procedural and jurisdictional question. Although I enjoy research and writing when I have the time, my family law practice often does not permit me that luxury. Also, this problem called for a writ petition, which would involve its own complex procedural rules, so I enlisted John’s support, and the result was a home run: a published reversal!"
Kayleene H. Writer, Family Law Attorney

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Since 1989 John L. Dodd and Associates has been handling appeals throughout the State of California, on behalf of both appellants and respondents, as well as writ petitions.  Mr. Dodd is a Certified Appellate Specialist and is experienced in civil, family, trust and estate, juvenile, parental rights, criminal and adoption appeals with over 1,000 appellate matters to date. © Copyright 2017

Contact Details:
Law Offices of John L. Dodd and Associates
17621 Irvine Blvd., Suite 200, Tustin, CA 92780

The purpose of this website is to introduce our appellate law firm and answer the most common questions concerning the appeals process in general as well as specifics about our legal practice. This information is neither complete nor specific, nor does it provide legal advice concerning any particular case. All testimonials or endorsements on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Providing this information does not create a lawyer-client relationship and you should not act without seeking legal advice concerning your particular case.