Legal Blog

The Benefits of Choosing a Large Appellate Law Firm

Published on January 16, 2023

When you engage a criminal appeals law firm, you should ask yourself, “What size appellate firm should I choose?” You get only one shot at a direct appeal from a judgment that affects your freedom and your future, so choosing wisely is critical. As shown below, selecting a large appellate firm over a small or “boutique” law firm has many advantages.

  1. Advantage 1: Experience, experience, experience.
  2. Advantage 2: Been there, done that.
  3. Advantage 3: Reputation.
  4. Advantage 4: No need to “reinvent the wheel.”
  5. Advantage 5: Additional Staff.

Advantage 1: Experience, experience, experience.

When you hire a large law firm, you get not just one attorney’s experience; you get the sum total of experience of all of the attorneys. More experience means better representation since each lawyer has honed his own skills and can also benefit from the skills of the other attorneys. Because each attorney brings different experiences from criminal appeals practice, and because of the sheer number of cases a large law firm manages, the firm knows how to handle just about any issue that arises.

Spolin Law has attorneys who were former prosecutors and attorneys who are lifelong defense advocates. This means that the ex-prosecutors have special insight into the likely strategy of the state in an appeal, while the defense attorneys have vast insight into what makes for a winning appeal, Some of the attorneys also formerly worked for judges, giving them the added knowledge of how judges think and decide cases. This breadth of experience helps a large firm succeed where other, smaller firms might flounder.

Advantage 2: Been there, done that.

With a large law firm and many attorneys pooling their knowledge and experience, there are few if any issues that the firm has not seen before, giving it the advantage of knowing how to successfully argue such an issue. This increases the chances of winning an appeal and reduces the research and leg work that an attorney must do before proceeding. Attorneys in large law firms know from each other what works and what doesn’t work on appeal, and they do not waste their time chasing tactics that won’t benefit you.

Advantage 3: Reputation.

A large law appellate firm handles many cases and will have a significant presence in the appellate courts and will be familiar with the courts and the judges who decide appeals. A firm’s favorable reputation among the judges and the courts transfers to each attorney in the firm, giving the attorney an advantage over other, lesser-known firms and lawyers. Lawyers in a firm build a reputation for the entire firm, so any attorney from the firm appearing before a judge will carry that good reputation. A reputation for outstanding work and success means that a court will give serious consideration the issues raised on appeal, giving an appeal greater likelihood of success.

Advantage 4: No need to “reinvent the wheel.”

Because of the number of cases a large appellate firm has tried, it has a database of applications for appeal, briefs, motions, and other papers filed before a court. This means that an attorney at a large firm can draw from the database instead of starting from scratch on an important document. This is a more efficient way to operate, saving time and money. It also frees up time for the attorneys to strategize and find a winning approach to an appeal, increasing the chances of success.

Advantage 5: Additional Staff.

The success of any appeal depends on experienced, skillful attorneys as well as an outstanding staff that supports the attorneys. A large law firm like Spolin Law has such a staff of people, such as a dedicated research team to handle researching complex issues of law to find the most favorable cases to win an appeal. Paralegals perform additional research and draft documents for appeal.

Some people are afraid that large law firms are impersonal and that their cases may get lost with the many other cases the firm handles. However, Spolin Law has case managers who provide client support and communication so every client has assistance with his or her case. You are not left wondering what is happening with your case or feeling disconnected from the firm. Your appeal does not fall through the cracks.

The factors listed above show the many ways that a large law firm gives you advantages that a small firm cannot. Experience, reputation, and support give a large law firm the ability to focus your case and provide the best representation to achieve your goals. As stated above, you get one shot at a direct appeal. Make it count with a large law firm that will provide expertise in handling your case.

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Spolin Law Wins More Cases In 2022 than In Any Other Year

Published on January 3, 2023

Spolin Law P.C. has had a record-making year. In 2022, the firm won more cases than in any previous year, and wins over the last few years include overturning multiple murder convictions, winning character-based applications, benefiting from new laws, winning in the California Supreme Court, and even overturning a conviction on a guilty-plea case.

“We don’t win every case,” says Aaron Spolin, one of the criminal appeals attorneys at the firm. “But we try our absolute hardest, and I’d like to think that we have as high a win rate as any firm out there, perhaps the highest.”

“The clients whom we are best able to help are those who have faith in us and patience throughout what can be a long road.” He likes to cite the case of a former Wasco State Prison inmate who won his freedom with the firm’s help in 2020. “He is a writer and a poet who fought his case for 15 years! That’s a very long time, but 15 years is a lot better than life in prison.” The client is now a sought-after inspirational speaker.

In looking back at 2022’s successes, Mr. Spolin credits the hard-working and resourceful attorneys at the firm. “People hustle here; we want to win win win.”

One such hard-working attorney is Jeremy Cutcher, who was a recipient of the firm’s 2022 California Legal Service Award. Mr. Cutcher recently won a remand and resentencing on a very difficult case from Justice Cynthia Lie in the Sixth Appellate District (oral argument was on July 5, 2022). Mr. Cutcher has also gone above and beyond this past year by volunteering to train other employees on new aspects of the law, including trainings on federal writ deadlines, the major case People v. Christopher Strong, as well as a number of other topics.

“For our clients, their lives are on the line. How could I not go all-out?” asks Mr. Cutcher. “There’s a reason that the other lawyers here and I do what we do. Our clients often have no voice. They’ve been treated like garbage. It’s a great feeling to fight for someone’s freedom and, in the process, treat them as a human being whose life really matters.”

The following is a partial list of firm wins only from 2022. It is not a full list and does not include earlier or later years. It includes in-court advocacy, out-of-court advocacy, and the delivery of legal advice. These successful outcomes do not guarantee success on a future case.

  • Win: P.C. 1170.95 Petition, Murder
    • 10/2/2022, People v. A.V.: The superior court granted the petition for resentencing, and the client was released after spending more than three decades in custody for a murder he did not intentionally commit.
  • Win: Direct Appeal, Voluntary Manslaughter
    • 12/16/2022, People v. D.K.: The appellate court reversed the trial court’s order, and the case was remanded back to the trial court, where the client’s voluntary manslaughter conviction was vacated, he was resentenced to felony assault, and he was released from custody.
  • Win: AB 2942 Application Submission, Carjacking/kidnapping
    • 8/1/2022, People v. J.G.: After firm submitted AB 2942 Application for Resentencing, the client was granted a resentencing and was released from prison after spending almost 25 years in custody. Note: firm did not represent client in the in-court advocacy stage.
  • Win: Direct Appeal, Major Felony
    • 4/26/2022, People v. G.R.: The appellate court vacated the sentence and remanded the matter to trial court due to a sentencing error.
  • Win: Direct Appeal, Major Felony
    • 7/15/2022, People v. E.L.: The appellate court reversed the judgment and remanded the case back to trial court for resentencing on a minor issue.
  • Win: Direct Appeal, Murder
    • 10/17/2022, People v. M.H.: The appellate court reversed the trial court’s order, and the case was remanded back to the trial court for a new hearing.
  • Win: Direct Appeal, Murder
    • 9/20/2022, People v. N.S.: The appellate court reversed the trial court’s order, and the case was remanded back to the trial court with directions to issue an order to show cause and hold a hearing.
  • Win: Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Carjacking
    • 7/21/2022, People v. M. H.: Client was ultimately released from prison after the filing of several petitions for writ of habeas corpus and a motion regarding the re-calculation of his good time credits.
  • Win: Parole Grant, Voluntary Manslaughter
    • 9/14/2022, People v. D.P.: After representation through written advocacy, the client was granted parole after spending over 17 years in custody.
  • Win: Petition for Review, Murder
    • 10/20/2022, People v. P.B.: The Supreme Court granted the petition for review.

To discuss how Spolin Law P.C. may be able to help with your (or your loved one’s) case, please call (866) 716-2805.

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