Image by Richard Derevan. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers

About CAAL

The California Academy of Appellate Lawyers (CAAL) is an election-only organization devoted to excellence in appellate practice. It fosters networking in the best sense: meeting interesting and committed colleagues and judicial officers in congenial settings, where everyone learns, and many develop both referrals and lifelong friends.


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What does CAAL do for appellate courts and appellate practice?

The Academy provides a forum, at its three annual meetings, for appellate judges, justices, and practitioners to interact with and to learn from each other. It files amicus curiae briefs in the California Supreme Court and appellate courts, in cases involving important issues of appellate practice. And it promotes reforms in appellate procedure designed to ensure effective representation of appellate litigants and more efficient administration of justice at the appellate level.


What does CAAL do for its members?

The Academy offers members unparalleled resources for improving appellate law practice. These include: specialized education aimed far above the basic or intermediate levels available through most other sources, access to the collective experience of fellow members to help solve challenging practice questions, and timely opportunities to influence — or originate — proposed changes to statewide appellate procedure. Members provide each other with insights on the districts they practice in most often. Alongside all that, the Academy offers the chance to forge deep friendships and enjoy California’s cultural and recreational opportunities.


What do its members do for CAAL?

Members are expected to share their time, skills and experience to advance the Academy’s mission, in the ways that each is best suited to do.


How is CAAL different from other groups related to appellate practice?

CAAL is the oldest organization in America devoted to appellate practice. Academy members are frequently counsel in the most complex and highest-impact cases before the California Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. CAAL’s admission policy focuses on the quality of applicants’ appellate skills, their contributions to appellate law, and their commitment to effective appellate practice, without regard to substantive practice area or to the “side” of any issue. CAAL’s membership includes appellate attorneys from private, public, nonprofit, and corporate practice, as well as from academia.

While other commissions and groups serve important purposes, none can match the cumulative experience of CAAL members. Nor does any other organization prioritize camaraderie and mutual help the way CAAL does.


Hero Image 2017 by Richard Derevan (Academy Member). All rights reserved.

2017 California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. All rights reserved.


The Academy is a voluntary professional organization dedicated to the advancement of appellate advocacy. This website, however, may be construed as attorney advertising under the laws of certain jurisdictions.