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Appeals and Writs   


Appeals and writs involve review by a higher court of the actions of a lower court or government agency. Successful appellate practice requires outstanding written, oral, and research skills as well as strategic finesse in conceiving the issues and designing a presentation most likely to result in a successful outcome.

Stuart has represented individuals, businesses, institutions, and government entities in hundreds of federal and state appeals and writ proceedings involving an extremely wide range of issues, and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his appellate work. 


Student teams under his supervision have won the Bernard E. Witkin Award for Excellence in Appellate Advocacy and the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers Award for Brief Writing, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit commended the “excellence” of his leadership of an appellate team in Rodriguez-Román v. Immigration & Naturalization Service, 98 F.3d 416 (9th Cir. 1996). Stuart is now an adjunct professor in the Appellate Advocacy Clinic of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, supervising students in a civil rights appeal to the Ninth Circuit.


Representative Cases


Monks v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes
167 Cal.App.4th 263, 84 Cal.Rptr.3d 75 (2008).

This landmark case resulted in the only successful permanent regulatory taking claim in the history of California. It resulted in a damage award of $4,250,000 plus the revocation of a development ban on ocean-view property worth $20,000,000.


Tang v. NBBJ, LP
(Feb. 13, 2014) B242912, 2014 WL 555163.

This successful appeal reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a multimillion-dollar claim against the Staples Center by the family of a child who had died after falling over a balcony built without a permit and in violation of building regulations. In a powerful decision, the Court of Appeal stated that the owner of the Staples Center “is not entitled to one free fatal plunge before its duty to act in the face of a known danger is triggered,” and criticized the trial judge for rulings that “lack any semblance of legitimate legal reasoning.” The case has been settled for a confidential amount.


Happy Nails & Spa of Fashion Valley v. Su
(July 19, 2013) D060621, 159 Cal.Rptr.3d 503.

Business owners defeated a claim by the California Employment Development Department by proving that their workers are independent contractors rather than employees. Another state agency then brought a similar claim against the same business. In a 31-page decision, the Court of Appeal ruled that a judgment against one state agency precludes relitigation of the same issue by another state agency. 


Rodriguez-Román v. Immigration & Naturalization Service
98 F.3d 416 (9th Cir. 1996).

This decision granted asylum to a Cuban refugee facing execution if deported to Cuba. It received extensive national and local press coverage for its disclosure of unreasonable INS attitudes and for the court’s commendation of Stuart and his assistants for the “excellence” of their work.


State of New York v. Shore Realty Corp.
759 F.2d 1032 (2d Cir. 1985).

This successful prosecution by the State of New York against a developer who knowingly bought a hazardous waste disposal site is the leading case in the United States on the strict liability of subsequent owners for the remediation of dangerous conditions. It resulted in national legislation requiring “due diligence” investigations before real estate purchases. This case is reproduced in many law school textbooks on environmental law and has been cited as a precedent in thousands of judicial decisions.


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