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

Panel Alerts

September 7, 2022

September 2022 Bulletin: Latest news re AB 333 and People v. Strong; new 1st DCA justice; upcoming training opportunities; new and noteworthy panel victories

Read on for important information about the latest developments surrounding the retroactivity of AB 333’s gang enhancement bifurcation provision; an update… more

August 9, 2022

MCLE Opportunity: The Insanity Defense in Criminal and Civil Commitment Proceedings

Appellate Issues Involving The Insanity Defense in Criminal Proceedings and Civil Commitment Following a Finding of Not Guilty By Reason… more


First District Panel Victories

September 28, 2022


Panel Attorney: Jason Szydlik

The Court of Appeal remanded the case for the trial court to reconsider appellant’s sentence in light of two amendments (Senate Bill No. 567 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.) and Assembly Bill No. 124 (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.)) to Penal Code section 1170, which created a presumption in favor of the low term where the defendant was a youth at the time of the offense and now requires that circumstances in aggravation used to justify imposition of the upper term be found true by the jury, admitted by the defendant, or based on prior convictions evidenced by a certified record of conviction.


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.