CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Appellate Center

The Civil Justice Association of California is the only organization that systematically reviews every appellate case filed in the California Supreme Court and the state’s six courts of appeal.

With approximately 15,000 appeals filed annually, this initially requires screening 1,200 briefs a month. On the average, eight percent of these involve liability and civil procedure issues of interest to CJAC. A third of these are of sufficient importance to be brought before CJAC’s Appellate Committee.

Briefs filed by the Civil Justice Association of California have helped produce important decisions with significant cost savings to businesses of all sizes in a broad variety of areas:

  • Arbitration
  • Asbestos Litigation
  • Class Actions
  • Construction Litigation
  • Employment Law
  • Evidence and Junk Science
  • Government Liability
  • Joint and Several Liability
  • Medical Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Product and Warning Liability
  • Punitive Damages
  • Summary Judgment
  • Unfair Competition Law

In addition to filing amicus briefs, CJAC regularly files letter briefs requesting that the courts grant or deny hearings or publish or de-publish opinions.

The Appellate Program is supervised by a 23-member Appellate Committee. The committee meets monthly to determine which cases merit CJAC’s participation as an amicus curiae.

Amicus Briefs

Amicus curiae is a legal Latin phrase, literally translated as “friend of the court.” It is the name for a brief filed with the court by someone who is not a party to the case. With Fred Hiestand at the helm of CJAC’s Appellate Program, CJAC regularly files such “friend of the court” briefs on issues of concern to its broad membership of businesses, professional associations, and local governments, in an effort to offer information and assist the court in deciding particular cases.

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