(1) Webinar: Time-Sensitive Appeals; (2) Emergency Orders in Fast-Track Appeals; (3) PFRs: A Question of Timing

May 6, 2020

We are writing to announce an upcoming webinar, to be held May 15. The one-hour training will concern techniques for obtaining immediate relief in time-sensitive cases. More details are below. 

We also have two updates on the application of the April 15 Court of Appeal emergency order in two specific situations: (1) dependency fast-track appeals and (2) what happens when finality is after May 18 (the end of the date range for the emergency order) but the rehearing deadline is May 18 or earlier.  

May 15 Webinar: Litigating in a Crisis – Options for Obtaining Immediate Relief in Time-Sensitive Cases

Appeals take time, time that our clients generally spend incarcerated, even where their entitlement to relief under the law is clear. In some cases, our clients will be immediately eligible for release following a favorable decision on appeal, but immediate release might not be possible due to rules governing the timing of finality and remittiturs. Fortunately, options exist for getting a client’s case returned to the superior court for more immediate relief.  Join FDAP Staff Attorneys Stephanie Clarke, James Donnelly-Saalfield, Richard Braucher, and Jeremy Price for a webinar presentation discussing various avenues for seeking immediate relief in the trial court, even while the case is pending on appeal.  The webinar will be focused on techniques primarily applicable in criminal cases. 

The webinar will be on Friday May 15, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.  

1.0 hour of MCLE credit will be available.  Advance registration required. (We have not determined yet whether this webinar will be recorded.) This training is free and for FDAP panel attorneys only. While your mic will be muted during the webinar, attendees will be able to submit questions electronically through the Zoom webinar portal. Evaluation forms and certificates of attendance will be transmitted to attendees after the event. 

Dependency Fast-Track Appeals: Court May Shorten Time To File a Brief Notwithstanding The 30-Day COVID Emergency Extensions 

This week, we saw orders in two dependency fast-track cases in which the Court exercised its discretion to not give the full 30-day extension for filing briefs permitted under the April 15 emergency order. In one case, the Court ordered a reply brief filed within seven days of its order (reducing the 30 extra days by 23). In another, the Court ordered an opening brief filed within 14 days of its order (reducing the 30 extra days by 21 days). 

Because the First District’s emergency order does not exclude fast-track appeals, it will take an order from the Court to shorten the time to file a brief that would otherwise be covered by the emergency extension. We don’t expect the Court to issue such orders in every fast-track appeal, but we also don’t expect it to be rare. We urge you to be ready for such orders by moving briefing along such that an order shortening time does not take you by surprise.

Finality and Rehearing & Review Deadlines: A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside of An Emergency Order 

At first blush, it may appear that under the April 15 emergency order, cases could become final before the extended petition for rehearing deadline when, under the Rules of Court, the normal rehearing deadline falls on May 18 or earlier while the normal finality date falls after May 18. Fortunately, we can offer some clarification: If the normal time for finality (30 days) or the normal time to file a petition for rehearing (15 days) falls within the emergency period, then finality is extended by 30 days. 

A hypothetical might help. If the Court issued an opinion on April 30, that opinion normally would become final under the Rules of Court on May 30. Because that date is outside the time frame for the last emergency order (April 17 through May 18), it would initially appear finality would not be extended and the finality date remains May 30 (and the PFR is due June 9). However, the deadline for the rehearing petition under the Rules of Court is May 15. Because that date is before May 18, it is extended under the emergency order to June 15. Because the time to petition for rehearing is extended 30 days (to June 14), finality is also extended 30 days to June 29.  This makes sense because otherwise the extended rehearing deadline could fall after the date of finality, which simply could not be.  

Reminder: This analysis concerns situations where the finality period is 30 days. The emergency extensions do not apply at all when the finality of decision is immediate. 

If you have any questions about this analysis, or about calculating a deadline in a particular case, please contact your FDAP consulting attorney.