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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4500
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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Judgement against my husband for running a red light; testimony

Resolved Question:

'Judgement against my husband for running a red light; testimony in 1st appeal was confusing. Superior Court appeal coming, but must write a brief. We can prove officer was making honest mistake with citation, but need format or anything helpful to write it. What do we do - how to proceed?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 8 years ago.

I would suggest that he look at the California Rules of Court regarding the requirements for an appellate brief, located here:

The brief should be divided into subsections for each of the requirements of the rule. For example, it may look like:

I. Nature of the action
II. Relief sought below
III. Judgment below
IV. Appeal from judgment
V. Statement of facts
VI. Argument (usually allegations of errors made by the trial court--each argument usually has a heading as well under A., B., C. and so on).
VII. Conclusion (usually request for relief from the appellate court--ie what he wants the appellate court to do)

He should be concise, because as you can see from the Rule, there is a word limit. There are numerous other procedures he needs to follow that are outlined in the Rule, like the font, type of paper that must be used, etc., that he should take note of as well.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks. They gave John a "2009 California Rules of Court" Rule 8.204 listing (a) Contents, (b) Form, (c) Length, (d) Attachments to briefs, and (e) Noncomplying briefs. John's first attempt had most of these points, but not all.

He has already experienced (e) as the clerk wouldn't accept it. He now has his 2nd brief down to 450 words. If he has followed the points, is the brief supposed to look "visually" a certain way to be acceptable? Like special places for indents, page numbers, centering, etc. that could handicap his case? Should he cite the attachments within the body someplace, or just put them at the end?

- Cheryl
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 8 years ago.
Generally, as long as his brief is in compliance with the rules laid out in that Rule as far as margins, etc. go, there are not any other formatting issues that will hamper him.

It is useful to cite the attachments when referring to them in the body. If he is citing the record from the trial, he can cite it as (R. #), where # XXXXX XXXXX page number. When referring to other documents, he can say something like "The license, which is attached hereto as Appellant's Exhibit A, says X." That way the court can refer to the exhibits while reading the brief more easily.
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