May 2022 Bulletin: FDAP’s Website

May 2, 2022

Here at FDAP, our goal is to make our website a go-to resource for everything related to First District appellate practice. We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight several pages and resources that we have recently added, updated, or improved, or that we believe are particularly useful to your practice.

Recent Opinions and Review Grants

FDAP is excited to share the new and regularly-updated Recent Opinions and Review Grants page. Here you will find short summaries of recent published opinions issued by the California Supreme Court (including recent review grants), Courts of Appeal, and Appellate Divisions in criminal, juvenile, and civil commitment cases. Generally, opinions and review grants will be posted to the page within one to two work days of issuance. We are striving to make this a useful and time-sensitive resource for attorneys to stay current on law and authority directly relevant to our work.

Motions and Samples

FDAP is continuously updating the Forms & Samples page with frequently-filed motions, applications, and forms that are useful in representing indigent parties in the First District. This is a work in progress. If an attorney needs a sample or motion that is not yet posted on our website, please reach out to your consulting attorney.

Panel Victories

The First District Panel Victories page of the website contains short summaries of panel and staff attorney victories (both published and unpublished) in the First District. The victories are keyword searchable and, by using the drop-down menus at the top of this page, can be easily filtered by both category and division.

Here are a few noteworthy victories from just this past month:

A162575 – [Unpublished Opinion | Attorney Charles Holzhauer] In a case in which appellant was convicted of domestic violence-related offenses against the mother of his daughter, the Court of Appeal reversed the criminal protective order as to appellant’s daughter because it was not supported by substantial evidence. Under Penal Code section 136, subdivision (3), a “victim” is defined as “any natural person with respect to whom there is reason to believe that any crime . . . is being or has been perpetrated or attempted to be perpetrated.” However, the evidence showed that the daughter was not present and did not witness the acts of domestic violence.

A161632 – [Published Opinion | Attorney Alex Coolman] In this case, a jury acquitted appellant of the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, but the trial court nevertheless denied his 1170.95 petition based on its belief that appellant possessed and fired a gun. The Court of Appeal held that a trial court cannot deny relief in a section 1170.95 proceeding based on findings that are inconsistent with a previous acquittal when no evidence other than that introduced at trial is presented. Thus, the Court reversed the order denying the petition and remanded for the trial court to hold a new hearing.

A162591 – [Published Opinion | Attorney Deborah Rodriguez] The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s suppression of evidence of a firearm found on appellant when he was patted down during a traffic stop, finding that the officer’s pat search was not supported by reasonable suspicion. The court explains that neither “knowledge of a suspect’s past arrests or convictions” or  “knowledge that a suspect is merely under investigation” is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion.

Law Library

The Law Library page has several useful research resources, including the ability to simultaneously search the websites of all five appellate projects. This “All Appellate Projects Search” includes training materials, articles, practice guides, and news items posted on the FDAP, CCAP, SDAP, ADI, and CAP-LA websites and is especially handy when you remember seeing an interesting article or training handout but can’t quite remember where to find it.

Video Library (coming soon!)

FDAP will go live in the next few months with videos from past trainings and seminars. We hope this will be an invaluable resource for attorneys, not only for the substantive content, but for continuing education. The videos will be eligible for self-study MCLE credit.