Occasionally one party to a divorce may want to appeal the Judgment entered by the court because he or she believes that the judge “got it wrong.” As an appellate attorney, Ms. Ribet will evaluate whether the mistake that the party thinks the judge made will lead to reversal of the Judgment. If we believe that the error was not merely “harmless” (but constitutes “prejudicial error”) then we will file a notice of appeal and take the case to the initial reviewing court, the California Court of Appeal. Sometimes, but rarely, a matter may even end up afterwards in the California Supreme Court.
And when the other party initially appeals, the responding party will need to hire an appellate lawyer like Ms. Ribet to defend the trial judge’s decision.
Ms. Ribet has substantial experience arguing before the California Court of Appeal. Her published decisions from that Court are: In re Marriage of Rossi (the lottery case) (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 34 [wife intentionally concealed lottery proceeds entitling former husband to award of entire amount]; In re Marriage of Rose and Richardson (2002) 102 Cal.App.4th 941 [trial court is required to conduct de novo review of custody and visitation issues to determine child’s best interests where Judgment is not final]; Amy G. v. M.W. (2006) 142 Cal.App.4th 1 [wife of a man who conceived a child out of wedlock cannot come into court claiming the gender-neutral application of the parentage laws to her to oust the biological mother], In re Marriage of Sabine and Toshio M. (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 1203 [husband and wife could not lawfully release child support and spousal support arrearages accrued by husband before the parties entered into postdissolution settlement agreement], and Lappe v. Superior Court (2014) 232 Cal.App.4th 774 [family law declarations of disclosure are not protected from disclosure by the mediation confidentiality doctrine; pet. for rev. denied]. Ms. Ribet also has one victory in the California Supreme Court in a non-family law case, Erlich v. Menezes (1999) 21 Cal.4th 543.
Ms. Ribet is often asked by other family law firms to assist as a consultant at the Statement of Decision or pre-appellate stage of their cases. These stages are extremely important to assuring that the record on appeal contains everything that the reviewing court must consider as part of the appeal. Ms. Ribet has lectured to many bar associations and family law study groups on the issue of “preserving” the appellate record.