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Federal Appeals and Writs


Michael Pellegrini and Cherie Beasley

If you wish to challenge a previous ruling in your federal case or have suffered a federal conviction, your must seek relief in the form of a federal writ or appeal. BACL takes pride in its success and expertise with federal writs and appeals. Like state writs and appeals, the first step in obtaining a favorable result is to become familiar with the record in your case, the relevant transcripts and documents that led to the unjust result or conviction.

In order to seek relief via federal writ, generally, you must demonstrate that you have exhausted all remedies available in California, which might include filing a state writ. A major difference between state and federal writs is the strict filing deadline as to a federal writ. While a state writ is simply supposed to be filed without undue delay, a federal writ must be filed within one year of one of the following, whichever occurs latest in time: (1) within one year of your conviction, (2) within one year of when the law changed to provide you with a basis for challenging your conviction or sentence, or (3) within one year of when you could have reasonably discovered the facts which justify the filing of your writ. (Note: The standard is not when you actually discovered the facts, but when you should have discovered them). Federal writs are filed in the appropriate federal court.

California federal appeals are filed with the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. Federal appeals, like state appeals, require extensive review of the case record, and the court may not consider evidence, discussions, or occurrences that are not a part of the record. However, a major distinction between California federal and state appeals is that there is no right to oral argument in a federal appeal, which means that your federal brief will likely be your sole means of persuading the court to overturn your conviction. For that reason, it is critical that you retain an attorney that will review the entire record and raise every meritorious argument in a way that is clear and persuasive.

BACL has a great deal of experience drafting detailed, persuasive federal briefs. Mr. Cohen and his legal team have drafted and argued more than 70 federal and state appeals and writs. We strive to give our clients the best possible chance to overcome past injustices, which is reflected in all of our federal writs and appeals.


The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be taken, as legal advice. The information may or may not apply to your case or situation. Please do not rely on any information on this website as legal advice from an attorney because it is not legal advice. Please contact us if you have any questions, and we will be happy to have one of our lawyers talk to you. Any preliminary consultation between you and a lawyer from our firm is covered by the attorney-client privilege.



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