Fighting for justice in criminal, juvenile, and civil commitment appeals.

FDAP Attorneys Honored for Work Advocating for Inmates Impacted by COVID-19 Outbreak at San Quentin State Prison

The Daily Journal editors have selected FDAP Assistant Director J. Bradley O’Connell and Staff Attorney Richard Braucher as recipients of the 2021 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Award for Appellate Litigation.

To read more about the San Quentin case, the Daily Journal award, and how to support this work, please click here.

COVID-19 Information for FDAP Clients and Panel Attorneys

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the First District Appellate Project (FDAP) extends our best wishes to those stricken by the virus and all those impacted in other ways, including financial losses and job security.

Please visit our Pandemic 2021 information page and FAQs, where we share information about FDAP operations, Court operations, and try our best to answer any questions. Be sure to view the related FAQs.


Latest First District Victories

May 27, 2021


Panel Attorney: Leslie Barry

[Published Decision __ Cal.5th___] The Supreme Court held that a parent is not required to show progress in addressing issues such as drug abuse that led to the dependency in order to establish the beneficial parent-child relationship exception of WIC section 366.26, subd. (c)(1)(B)(i). With respect to the standard of review, the Court held that the first two prongs of the exceptions are reviewed for substantial evidence. The third prong, whether termination would be detrimental to the child due to the parent-child relationship, is reviewed under a hybrid standard. The factual findings as to detriment are reviewed for substantial evidence but the ultimate decision, whether the harm of losing the relationship outweighs the benefits of adoption, is reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard.


Pathways to an Appellate Practice

Interested in becoming an appellate attorney? Visit our Pathways to an Appellate Practice section for details on

  • becoming a panel attorney;
  • FDAP’s Associate Staff Attorney Program; and
  • law student opportunities.