John L Dodd best california appellate attorney John L Dodd appellate attorney 1-855-255-2252

About John L. Dodd & Associates

JohnLDoddAppealsAttorneyLawyerJohn L. Dodd & Associates handles appeals and writ petitions throughout the State of California, primarily in State court. We are experienced in civil, family, trust and estate, juvenile, parental rights, criminal and adoption appeals. Our primary office is in Orange County, so we concentrate on appeals originating from Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties. However, we have filed appellate briefs in every District of the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. We also have filed appellate briefs in the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

We do not appear in the trial court, but will consult with trial counsel and assist with research and drafting of, or opposing, complex motions. Generally, we prefer to "associate" with trial counsel for the appeal, but will "substitute" in as counsel for appeal in the Court of Appeal in the appropriate case. We also are available to represent amicus curiae, or "friends of the court," in cases which may be important to individuals or groups in which they are not formal parties.

Where the issues and "stakes" justify it, we also handle appeals to the appellate department of the Superior Court, on behalf of both appellants and respondents, concerning "Limited Jurisdiction" Superior Court, formerly known as "Municipal Court."

We do not handle small claims appeals. Those are not true appeals, but instead are a new trial before a different judge. If you have a small claims appeal, we advise you to seek out an attorney handling general civil litigation matters.  

The John L. Dodd & Associates Advantage

JohnLDoddAppealsAttorneyLawyerWe are a small, collegial firm and keep overhead low so as to keep our hourly rates competitive.  Although "big firms" often have attorneys who have appellate experience, someone is paying for those impressive facilities, generally the client.

Additionally, some law firms may assign appeals to new lawyers or summer law clerks, in the apparent belief that taking depositions or handling trial work is "real" lawyer work, but "paperwork" is beneath the more senior attorneys. Appeals are all we do. We do not view them as second-class assignments.

We are efficient and are able to get to the heart of an appellate case and complete projects without the undue consumption of time. Although some appeal attorneys may charge lower hourly rates, they may not be proficient in appellate procedure or may take longer to draft an appellate brief, which ends up costing the client more money.

JohnLDoddAppealsAttorneyLawyerMr. Dodd is a former research attorney at the California Court of Appeal.  This gave him valuable insight into the mechanics of an appeal and the manner in which appellate justices decide cases. He has been certified by the State Bar of California as an Specialist in Appellate Law since 1996, and has handled over 1,000 appellate matters in his over 30 years of practice. Mr. Dodd has argued hundreds of cases before the California Court of Appeal, as well as 10 matters before the California Supreme Court.

In addition to his appellate experience, Mr. Dodd spent many years handling civil litigation and real property matters. He gained valuable courtroom experience, plus an understanding of the various steps in a lawsuit which some other appellate attorneys lack. However, for more than 15 years, our practice has been devoted exclusive to appellate matters and assisting other attorneys with complex legal research.

This breadth and depth of experience sets this firm apart from others who dabble in appeals or "have handled some appeals" in the past. Our attorneys have considerable appellate experience and have demonstrated excellent research and writing skills.

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.