The Court filed its Opinion, now what happens?
If you are not successful on appeal, you first need to determine if the Opinion misstates a fact or does not discuss a particular issue. If so, then you may ask the Court of Appeal to take another look at the case by filing a Petition for Rehearing, which must be filed within 15 days after the Opinion is filed. Petitions for Rehearing are usually denied, but may be necessary if you are considering filing a Petition for Review in the California Supreme Court.
A Petition for Review in the Supreme Court must be filed within 10 days after the Court of Appeal’s Opinion is “final.” For a normal appeal, that is 30 days after the Opinion was filed. Therefore, a Petition for Review must be filed between the 30th day and the 40th day after the filing of the Opinion. The current filing fee is $590.00. The Supreme Court usually takes about 60 days to decide whether or not to accept a case. If the Petition is “denied,” then the “remittitur” issues, and the case is over as far as the appeal is concerned.
If you were successful in the Court of Appeal, and the other side files a Petition for Review, you may want to file an “Answer,” in which you briefly explain why the case is not important enough for the Supreme Court to consider it.
If the Supreme Court grants review, there is a whole new round of briefing. The Supreme Court often takes a year or two before it sets a case for argument. It then usually decides the case by filing its Opinion within 90 days after argument.
Statistically, the Supreme Court grants less than 5% of the Petitions it receives. Many of these are “grant and hold” cases which involve a common issue already pending in the Supreme Court. The Court generally does not decide the “grant and hold” cases individually but, instead, will deal with them after it decides the “lead” case.
Because the chance of having any particular Petition for Review granted is low, you can maximize the chance of success by having experienced counsel review your case and prepare the petition for review. Our office may perform this service even if we did not represent you in the Court of Appeal.