Monday, August 21, 2017

Statements of Decision

Image result for sod
This is sod; not an SOD.
Today's Moskovitz on Appeals column in the DJ is Setting up an appeal: Preparing the Statement of Decision. After reviewing the basics of CCP 632 and CRC 3.1590 about procedural issues of requesting, preparing an objecting to an SOD, Myron then provides advice for both sides.

  • If you lost the court trial, then it's crucial to request an SOD. If you don't, the presumptions against you on appeal could be fatal. Be sure to object to the proposed SOD if it omits discussion of an issue you'd like to raise on appeal. "But it’s usually not a good idea to object to findings against you. You don’t have to, because the judge did address the issue, so you don’t waive it by not objecting." And the other side or court may change the SOD to answer your objections and thereby doom an appeal.
  • If you won and were directed to draft the SOD, then treat the task as a short brief: State the facts clearly and completely; provide clear and persuasive reasoning; tailor it to the standard of review on appeal.