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Perfecting The Appeal Before The Trial Even Ends

Publication Date: 
October 01, 2007
Source: 
Daily Journal
Author: 
Laura Ernde

Professor and former Dean Kathleen Sullivan is quoted in this Daily Journal article about appellate practice:

"Appellate lawyers were thought of as cerebral eggheads who sat in the court looking out the window," said Kathleen Sullivan, the former Stanford Law School dean who chairs the appellate practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges in Redwood Shores.

But as the field has evolved, appellate lawyers say they are being brought in more often at the trial court level to try to prevent errors and make sure all the legal issues are preserved in the ever-important record.

Sullivan said she has even argued several motions to dismiss, which are handled long before trial.

In one case, Sullivan represented smokers suing to challenge the state's settlement with tobacco companies on the grounds that it encouraged illegal price-fixing.

Although she lost at the district court and Wednesday at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, legal experts say the case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sanders v. Lockyer, C04-02281.