We are excited to announce the Access to Appellate Justice Program. The San Diego County Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section has created a program designed to help self-represented parties to civil cases on appeal. This program is the first of its kind in California. It helps self-represented litigants who qualify for fee waivers search for an attorney to represent them in the appeal at no charge. This program applies to cases in which:

  • a notice of appeal has been filed in the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, in San Diego;
  • the case is a civil matter from the San Diego Superior Court;
  • the litigant has obtained a fee waiver in superior court, or will qualify for one in the court of appeal; and
  • the other side was represented by an attorney in the superior court. (Note: if both parties were represented by attorneys in the superior court, you can only qualify for the program if the opposing party was a governmental or business entity.)

Self-represented litigants can fill out an application that will be forwarded to appellate attorneys working on a volunteer basis. The attorneys will review the case to determine if they are able to provide assistance. If an attorney is able to provide representation, then their information will be forwarded to the self-represented litigant.

Self-represented litigants must continue to represent themselves while the program attempts to identify potential pro bono representation. The completion of an application does not guarantee representation. For assistance in appellate matters, check out the Civil Appellate Self-Help Workshop that takes place at our Downtown location  and our Self-Help Guide on Appeals.

If you are an attorney interested volunteering as pro bono counsel, you can find more information about the program and an attorney application here.