Dougherty & Associates has extensive experience and expertise in preparing appeals and writ petitions in family law and juvenile dependency cases. An appeal is a request to a higher court (California Court of Appeal) to review the findings or orders of a trial court for error. The procedure is very different from what happens in a family or juvenile court. The Court of Appeal works from a record of what happened in the lower court. It does not hear new testimony or evidence. An appeal is a very technical, specialized proceeding. Very few trial lawyers do appeals.
A writ petition is also a request for the Court of Appeal, or higher court, to direct a lower court to act or not act in a certain way when one believes the lower court has or is about to err. However, the attorney must put the record together rather than requesting the Superior Court to do that task. Also, in most cases, the Court of Appeal must give a decision when an appeal is filed. It can decline to decide anything in response to a writ petition. Writ petitions are generally more expensive to prepare and are reserved only for extraordinary problems where review cannot wait for the matter to run its course at the trial court level.