April 23, 2024

Filing an Appeal

Attorneys often act as gatekeepers. I occasionally read appellate opinions in which it is rather clear that the litigant should have consulted with an attorney before filing an appeal. The attorney would have informed the litigant that their case is not as strong as they may perceive. For example, a recent unpublished appellate opinion involved a litigant who should have consulted with an attorney before filing their appeal.

"Although Washington does not have a lawyer representing her in this appeal, "the same rules apply to a party appearing in propria persona as to any other party." (Flores v. Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 199, 205.) Much of the fact section of Washington's opening brief consists of unsupported allegations of a conspiracy involving, among others, the administrator's counsel, probate court judges, clerks and justices of this court, the justices of the California Supreme Court, an insurance company, the military, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the FBI, two federal judges, the California Highway Patrol, and the police departments of several East Bay cities. The argument section alleges that some or perhaps all of these people and entities violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq., and obstructed justice; it also cites Penal Code statutes on attempt and aiding and abetting."

It would be reasonable to conclude that a CA attorney would have advised this litigant not to file such an appeal. It was unlikely, to put it mildly, that the aforementioned parties were a cabal that conspired to thwart the appellant.

Washington v. Washington, Alameda County Superior Court case no. RP2008371