CRIMINAL APPELLATE PRACTICE
October 2007 Revision
APPELLATE DEFENDERS, INC .
U SE OF THIS MATERIAL SUBJECT TO A GREEMENT AT START OF MANUAL.
The Appellate Defenders, Inc., California Criminal Appellate Practice Manual is
designed to assist attorneys representing criminal defendants on appeal in California. It
addresses common matters often encountered in appellate practice and gives attorneys a
guide through each phase of the entire process.
The manual discusses a great variety of topics in law and procedure, practice,
ethics, and policy. Some of the material is basic, but much is advanced, based on
extensive research. The manual is divided into nine chapters:
Chapter 1 – basic information for appointed counsel
Chapter 2 – what can be appealed and how to get an appeal started
Chapter 3 – record completion, extensions, release on appeal
Chapter 4 – issue spotting and selection
Chapter 5 – briefing
Chapter 6 – oral argument
Chapter 7 – decisions by reviewing courts and processes after decision
Chapter 8 – California writs
Chapter 9 – federal habeas corpus
The manual is the product of many years of effort. Using various sources –
articles from the 1993 ADI manual, drafts written for the manual, briefs, and much
original research – Executive Director Elaine Alexander and Senior Staff Attorney
Howard Cohen did the primary writing (and multiple rewrites) and editing. Each chapter
was reviewed by one or more ADI staff attorneys. A team of four other staff attorneys
next reviewed the entire manual for correctness of substance and consistency. Law
clerks and attorneys checked all citations repeatedly.
The manual is on the ADI website at http://www.adi-sandiego.com/manual.html.
The most up to date version will always be the one online, given the practicalities of hard
We believe the Appellate Defenders, Inc., California Criminal Appellate Practice
Manual is a product of great quality and usability. We hope it will be consulted regularly