David Marcus Axelrad
At Horvitz & Levy LLP, our specialty is knowing how to effectively package and present factual and legal issues for appellate review and decision. (Read "Why Hire an Appellate Expert.") In course of handling thousands of appeals, we have necessarily developed several major practice areas of substantive expertise. Among these are the following (click on a topic to see a summary of the practice area and links to representative cases we have handled in that area):
* Class Actions
* Employer Liability
* Entertainment Law
* First Amendment/Anti-SLAPP Statute
* Healthcare
* Insurance Coverage/Insurance Bad Faith
* Legal Malpractice
* Pro Bono
* Punitive Damages
* Toxic Tort/Products Liability
* Unfair Competition Law (UCL)
* US Supreme Court Practice

These practice areas represent only a subset of the broad range of civil cases Horvitz & Levy LLP is equipped to handle on appeal.

Appeals Practice

Ordinarily, we associate with trial counsel either immediately after trial or when the record is lodged in the Court of Appeal. (Read "Why Hire an Appellate Expert.") Initially, we evaluate the case and provide an objective assessment of the likelihood of success on appeal. If the appeal has merit and the client elects to proceed, we consult with trial counsel on the factual and legal issues, prepare all necessary briefs, present oral argument, and seek or oppose further review in the California Supreme Court and, in some cases, the United States Supreme Court. (We can answer even the most arcane questions about appellate practice like, "What is a 'doghouse' in appellate court parlance?")

Writ Practice

We also have an extensive writ practice. In appropriate cases involving non-appealable orders, we seek emergency review from the appellate courts by means of a petition for extraordinary writ. As with appeals, we assess the merits of the petition, advise the client and, if the decision is to proceed, prepare the petition and other necessary documents, present oral argument, and seek further relief as necessary.

Consulting Services

At the trial stage, we consult with clients and trial counsel in planning strategies and preserving issues for appeal, particularly in complex cases and cases raising issues of first impression. In this role, we often assist trial counsel in preparing dispositive pre-trial motions, trial briefs, special jury instructions, and post-trial motions in the trial court. But we do not conduct discovery or try cases.


In addition to writing articles for legal periodicals, magazines, and law reviews, we maintain an annual review of recent significant decisions and cases pending before the California Supreme Court. In addition, we publish substantive manuals which are updated yearly to reflect the current law in the healthcare field.

Studies and Research Projects

From time to time we prepare studies for business and insurance clients analyzing new legislation, important court decisions and other matters that substantially affect our clients' interests. We also present seminars on these and other issues relating to the appellate process.

Finally, we participate in evaluating and drafting proposed legislation. For example, we have prepared comprehensive constitutional analyses of Proposition 213 (enacting Civil Code section 3333.4, which limits uninsured motorists' recovery of noneconomic damages), Senate Bill 1899 (enacting Code of Civil Procedure section 340.9, which extended the one-year suit provision for Northridge earthquake claims), and the California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA), whose constitutionality we successfully defended on behalf of the healthcare community in the California Supreme Court. One of the firm's attorneys, Thomas Todd, was the principal consultant to the Uniform Law Commission's drafting committee for the Uniform Periodic Payment of Judgments Act. We have also prepared studies concerning the constitutionality of punitive damages and have filed briefs for clients and amicus curiae in California's appellate courts and in the United States Supreme Court addressing the constitutionality of punitive damages and the appellate standard of review for such awards.

David M Axelrad
Horvitz & Levy
15760 Ventura Blvd - 18th Floor
Encino CA 91436
Tel: 818 995-0800
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