Time Trials


The California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, published an important recent case of appellate procedure titled Payne v. Rader at the start of this month to emphasize two crucial and useful appellate practice pointers for practitioners. Payne's "pain" is that the court dismissed his appeal as untimely. Understanding why that happened requires discussion of two issues, one pedestrian and another a bit more intriguing.

Payne's first point is a hoary bromide, yet one that apparently requires regular repetition: Filing a timely notice of appeal is mandatory and jurisdictional. Does the next volume of the California Appellate Reports really need another case to underscore, highlight and boldface this basic proposition? Apparently so. No matter how clearly stated in the California Rules of Court and no matter how often reiterated in the published cases, lawyers and litigants seem to need constant reminders that a notice of appeal must be filed on or before the 60 days after service of notice of entry of judgment. California Rules of Court 8.104(a).

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