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

Panel Alerts

May 2, 2023

May 2023 Panel Bulletin

Read on for a post-seminar thank you from FDAP, important information about electronic records, the 2023 edition of CALCRIM, First District… more

March 21, 2023

FDAP’s Annual Seminar: In-Person on April 14, 2023!

Join us on Friday, April 14, 2023 at Preservation Park for FDAP’s annual training seminar. See your colleagues in person,… more


First District Panel Victories

May 30, 2023


Panel Attorney: Karl Barry & Athena Shudde

In this consolidated appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred by instructing the jury on CALCRIM No. 417 (liability for acts of coconspirators), which allowed a murder conviction as the natural and probable consequence of an uncharged drug conspiracy (without proof of malice), and that the error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court further held that the gang enhancements must be reversed because the instructions at trial did not comport with the new requirements of PC 186.22; none of the predicate offenses occurred “within three years of the date the current offense is alleged to have been committed,” and the jury was permitted to rely on the charged offenses in determining whether a pattern of criminal gang activity had been proven.


Mat Zwerling – in memoriam

Matthew (Mat) Zwerling, co-founder of the First District Appellate Project (FDAP) and Executive Director for many years, passed away on March 24, 2022, after a long illness. We are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague, and take this time to reflect on Mat’s life and the difference he made in the lives of so many. Mat was a mensch, a mentor, an activist, and a man of many and varied interests and talents.

Please visit our remembrance page and join us in celebrating Mat's life

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.