Appeals & Writs


An appeal is not simply a continuation of the trial court proceeding.  It presents a new arena with different rules and different strategies.  The chances of succeeding in that arena increase greatly by using an appellate lawyer experienced in that different environment.

You need someone with a deep understanding of appellate practice and procedure, who can bring that refined expertise and fresh perspective to improve your chances, both in briefing and at oral argument.  Two key differentiators in an appeal are the importance of the written brief (as opposed to the oral argument) and the sometimes determinative effect of the applicable standard of review.

Jens Koepke of Shaw Koepke & Satter has been certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in Appellate Law, and has been practicing appellate law exclusively for almost 20 years.  He has appeared in scores of appeals in the California and federal appellate courts.  Jens knows what arguments will sway an appellate court and which ones won’t.  He prides himself on clear, precise writing that both tells the story and demands a legal win for you.  His experience allows him to work efficiently to achieve your goals on appeal.

Jens has handled appeals in a range of practice areas – from medical malpractice to partnership disputes – but his substantive experience and expertise is greatest in the intellectual property, anti-SLAPP, probate, arbitration, media law, commercial litigation, and product liability areas.  To learn more about Jens’ educational and professional background, his broad involvement in the appellate bar, as well as to see the many articles he has written, take a look at his bio.


Writ practice is a particularly tricky part of the appellate arena.  In California courts, there are many instances in which the only path for an effective appellate remedy is by filing an immediate writ petition from an adverse interim trial court ruling.  There are jurisdictional hurdles to obtaining a writ, which is one of the many reasons they are rarely granted.  Understanding the particular rules and strategies for writ petitions demands experience and nuance.  Obtaining interlocutory relief in the federal appellate courts has different rules, but faces similarly uphill odds.

Because the time deadlines are much shorter for state writs and federal interlocutory appeals, having solid experience is essential to presenting a compelling writ in a short amount of time.  Jens has prepared many writs and has seen what works and what doesn’t.

Pre-Appeal Counseling and Complex Motion Practice

A strong appeal or persuasive writ actually begins before or during trial.  Whether arguments and evidence are preserved in the trial court record, whether the right, winning arguments have been made in the right dispositive motion, and whether certain aspects of a trial verdict have been challenged can either doom or speed the success of the eventual appeal.  Jens brings his persuasive writing skills and strategic knowledge to bear in crafting complex and oftentimes dispositive pre-trial and post-trial motions.  These include motions for summary judgment, demurrers, motions to dismiss, motions for a new trial, and motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

Jens’ combination of years as a trial lawyer and his decades as an appellate lawyer allow him to provide valuable counseling and advice to trial counsel as to how to build the best possible case.  Alternatively, Jens can roll up his sleeves and help trial counsel put together effective and winning motions, or key trial documents (such as motions in limine or jury instructions).