In most California civil cases, a party generally must wait until a trial court issues a final judgment before he or she can get through the doors of the Court of Appeal. While there are a few exceptions, this rule (sometimes called the one-final-judgment rule) prevents litigants from complaining to the appellate court about every ruling in a given case in piecemeal fashion. Even when they receive an appealable judgment, parties to an appeal often find that getting a decision from the reviewing court takes endurance and patience; e.g., the time from the notice of appeal to the decision frequently takes over a year.
Things work a bit differently in probate court. In that forum, parties can appeal from a multitude of rulings that a trial court may issue well before any final judgment. And litigants who feel like they are growing old dealing with other types of appeals may find less waiting when it comes to probate appeals. That is because probate appeals are subject to statutory preference (i.e., hurry-up-and-get-it-over-with rules) under section 44 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. Still, it is a good idea to file an application for calendar preference (to remind the appellate court that yours is one of those cases) in order to speed things along.
Continue Reading Don’t Make the Grave Mistake of Killing Your Appeal from an Order of the Probate Court