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Top SCOTUS cases applying Apprendi v. New Jersey

Apprendi v. New Jersey[1]Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466 [120 S.Ct. 2348]. was a landmark Sixth Amendment case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2000. In the years since its decision, it has significantly shaped the way jury trials are handled. Apprendi v. New Jersey is one of the […]
amicus briefs (simple)

Amicus Curiae Briefs in California State Courts

Amicus curiae briefs are a useful way for people to have their voices heard in legal cases, even when they aren’t a party to the litigation. In California, they can be filed in both appellate courts and the state supreme court. Amicus curiae is a Latin phrase that means “friend of the court.”[1]Connerly v. State […]

Man petitioning for writ of habeas corpus

Habeas Corpus Petitions in California State Court

The writ of habeas corpus has been called the “highest safeguard of liberty.”[1]Smith v. Bennett (1961) 365 U.S. 708, 712. With the exception of direct appeals, it is perhaps the most important procedure available to people who have been subject to criminal proceedings in California. The writ of habeas corpus (sometimes called the “Great Writ”[2]Stone […]


The Record on Appeal in California Criminal Cases

The record on appeal is the centerpiece of every California criminal appeal. It is what parties use to support their arguments, and what the appellate court relies on to make its decision. After a criminal appeal is initiated, a record on appeal must be prepared. A record on appeal (also called an “appellate record”) is […]

What is an Appeal?

What is an Appeal? California Law: Explained!

When trial courts make important legal errors in California legal cases, appeals can help challenge those decisions. An appeal is a legal proceeding that allows a losing party to challenge mistakes made in a lower court. Generally, those must be legal mistakes, not just factual errors. In an appeal, the party that lost in the […]

Notice of Appeal on Typewriter

The Notice of Appeal in California Criminal Cases

When trial courts make important legal errors in California criminal cases, filing a notice of appeal at the appropriate time may be a good idea. An appeal is a procedure used to correct legal errors made in court. The appealing party requests that a higher court review the proceedings of a lower court to correct […]

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