gradient header image

<< back to Standing Committees

To join the committee, fill out this application.

For COVID-19 related materials, please click here.

Chair: Bryce Young
Vice Chair: Jocelyn Sperling

Intermediate Past Chair: Kelly Woodruff

About the Committee:

Established by the State Bar in 1970 and made a State Bar standing committee in 1973, the Committee on Appellate Courts is now a standing committee of CLA’s Litigation Section. Its members are drawn from diverse sources including law firms, solo practitioners, defense, and prosecution offices handling criminal appeals, appellate court research staff, and law school faculty. In furtherance of the administration of justice, the charge of the committee is as follows:

  •  provide members of the State Bar of California with quality continuing education on appellate practice, including programs that meet the standards for the State Bar’s appellate specialization requirements;
  •  comment on proposed changes to court rules in state and federal courts that affect appellate practice in California; and
  •  when possible, initiate or support programs for providing pro bono appellate assistance, mentoring inexperienced appellate attorneys, helping pro se litigants on appeal, and making legal education programming affordable for all attorneys, and other special projects.

We are committed to including attorneys from a broad range of subject areas and practice types, including civil and criminal appellate practitioners, large firm attorneys and solo practitioners, government, court, and non-profit attorneys, and academics.  In selecting new members, the Committee also seeks diversity in terms of practice area, geographic location, ethnicity, and gender/gender identity.

Committee Oversight: The Litigation Section Executive Committee

Anne M. Voigts
Ari Stiller
Ben Siminou
Benjamin Shatz
Carl Chamberlin
David de Jesus
David Williams
Dean Bochner
Gary A. Watt
Glenn Danas
Jacqueline Young
Jennifer Hansen
Jessica Barber
Jocelyn Sperling
Jonathan Grossman
Johanna Schiavoni
Josh Patashnik
Julia C. Shear Kushner
Katelyn Leeviraphan
Kevin Green
Mary-Christine (MC) Sungaila
Matthew Scherb
Melanie Gold
Micael Berger
Philip Johnson
Ryan Wu
Shuray Ghorishi
Thaila Sundaresan

Member Terms: Three years.  Terms begin and end on the last day of the CLA Annual Meeting.

Meetings: We typically meet by phone once per month and in person once per year.

Expectations: The Committee expects each member to help with at least one of the following projects per year:

  •  organize or help organize an MCLE program (either a webinar or a live panel);
  •  write an article for California Litigation journal;
  •  prepare a written MCLE test;
  •  draft and finalize the committee’s comments on a proposed rule change;
  •  assist in the organization of the Appellate Summit;
  •  assist the executive committee as requested.

In addition, each member is expected to participate in all Committee meetings and the selection of new members.  Applicants must be current members of the Litigation, Criminal, or Family Law Section, or must join one of these sections once selected for membership on the Committee.  If joining one of these sections would present a problem, an applicant may explain the problem in a cover letter, and an exception to the requirement will be considered.

Appellate Practice Network

The mission of the Appellate Practice Network is to promote excellence, professionalism, and civility among appellate practitioners; to keep members informed about current developments in appellate practice; to connect members for the exchange of information, ideas, and tips on practicing in the state and federal appellate courts; and to provide high-quality appellate specialization education.

Learn More About Appellate Practice Network


The Committee has compiled a list of nonprofit organizations throughout California that need pro bono appellate assistance on an ongoing basis.  Interested attorneys should contact the organizations directly.  If you are a nonprofit organization that would like to be included on the list, please email the Chair of the Committee on Appellate Courts. See the list of opportunities

Past Webinars

Dealing with Challenging Standards of Review (October 2018)
Top Appellate Malpractice Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (October 2018)
Dispositions: Getting What you Really Want (October 2017)
What Every Litigator Should Know About Attorney Fee Appeals (September 2017)
An Inside Look at Ninth Circuit (March 2017)
Protecting and Presenting the Record on Appeal (October 2015)

Past Events


Litigation Summit in San Francisco

CLA Committee on Appellate Courts is excited to be facilitating the return to an in-person Litigation and Appellate Summit, occurring May 4-5, 2023, in San Francisco.  Further details to come and registration available here: .

2022 Litigation and Appellate Summit

This event was held virtually

2021 Litigation and Appellate Summit

This event was held virtually.

2021 Litigation Summit

Keynote Speaker: Luis Cespedes, California’s Judicial Appointments Secretary

2020 Litigation and Appellate Summit

This event was held virtually.

2020 Litigation Summit

Keynote Speaker: Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin

2019 Litigation and Appellate Summit

image of 2019 brochure

The brochure for the 2019 Litigation and Appellate Summit Summit (Keynote Speaker: California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger)

2018 Litigation and Appellate Summit

image of 2018 brochure

The brochure for the 2018 Inaugural Appellate Summit (Keynote Speaker: California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar)

2017 Litigation and Appellate Summit

image of the 2017 brochure

The brochure for the 2017 Inaugural Appellate Summit (keynote speaker California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye).

Comment Letters

CAC Comments to 6DA Proposed Local Rule 4 (May 27, 2021)

CAC Comments on SPR21-02 (May 27, 2021)

CAC Comments on SPR21-01 (May 27, 2021)

Invitations to Comment on Proposed Rules W20-01 and W20-02 (January 11, 2020)

United States Supreme Court, Clerk of the Court, Rules Committee: Proposed Changes to United States Supreme Court Rules (November 29, 2018)

To Judicial Council of California, Proposition 66 Rules Working Group Chair: SP 18-21: Appellate Procedure: Appeals from Superior Court Decisions in Death-Penalty Related Habeas Corpus Proceedings; SP 18-22: Criminal Procedure: Superior Court Procedures for Death Penalty–Related Habeas Corpus Proceedings (November 15, 2018)

To Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Chief Deputy Clerk Operations: Request for Review and Feedback for New and Revised Ninth Circuit Forms and Videos (October 15, 2018)

To Judicial Council of California, Proposition 66 Rules Working Group Chair: SP18-12: Rules and Forms: Qualifications of Counsel for Appointment in Death Penalty Appeals and Habeas Corpus Proceedings; SP18-13: Criminal and Appellate Procedure: Superior Court Appointment of Counsel in Death Penalty–Related Habeas Corpus Proceedings (August 24, 2018)

To Judicial Council of California, Appellate Advisory Committee Chair: Proposed Change to E-Filing Rule of Court 8.77 Clarifying that Documents Received Before Midnight Are Considered “Filed” the Same Day (August 1, 2018)

To California Judicial Council. Proposition 66 Rules Working Group Chair: Criminal and Appellate Procedure: Record Preparation in Death Penalty Cases (July 19, 2018)

To Judicial Council of California, Appellate Advisory Committee Chair: SPR18-04 Settled Statements in Unlimited Civil Cases (June 8, 2018)

To Judicial Council of California, Appellate Advisory Committee Chair: SPR18-03 Finality of Appellate Division Decisions; SPR18-05 Notice of Appeal and Record on Appeal in Appellate Division Cases; SPR18-06 Electronic Sealed and Confidential Records and Lodged Records in the Court of Appeal (June 8, 2018)

To Chief Deputy Clerk, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: Circuit Rules 22-1 through 22-6, Habeas Corpus Appeals; and Circuit Rule 25-5(f), Certificate of Service Requirement (April 30, 2018)

Learn More

See More Under Committee on Appellate Courts

COVID-19 Related Materials
Pro Bono Appellate Opportunities

Forgot Password

Enter the email associated with you account. You will then receive a link in your inbox to reset your password.

Personal Information

Select Section(s)

CLA Membership is $99 and includes one section. Additional sections are $99 each.