It's October, and time for my semi-annual installment of "Is This Appealable?" -- a selection of the adverse orders that trial lawyers ask me about most often. As usual, these answers apply 95% of the time in California state courts; there are sometimes exceptions.
5. Is a vexatious litigant pre-filing order appealable?
YES – it’s a form of injunction, and injunctions are immediately appealable.
4. Is an order compelling arbitration appealable?
NO. Generally the parties must arbitrate, with any appeal lying from a later judgment confirming the arbitration award. (Civ. Proc., §1294(d)) But there is authority for attacking the order via writ petition.
3. Can you appeal from an order granting an anti-SLAPP motion as to only some causes of action, but denying the motion as to others?
YES. A recent appellate decision so holds, and other courts had allowed such appeals without comment before that.
2. Is an order denying summary judgment (or adjudication of issues) appealable?
NO, it is reviewable only by petition for writ of mandate filed within 20 days. (Code Civ. Proc., §437c(m)(1))
1. Is an order granting summary judgment (or adjudication of issues) appealable?
NO! Only the separate Judgment that shortly follows is appealable. Litigants do have the option (as in # 2 above) to seek writ review of summary-adjudication grants. While that step isn’t required to preserve review at the final-judgment stage, it’s often a hard strategic call that deserves careful consideration.
► The practical message: Whenever you suffer an important loss, study the statutes controlling appealability, as well as the particular statute controlling the motion or application, and relevant cases. If you cannot reach full certainty on whether it's appealable, call someone who can, because the stakes are “do-or-die”: any existing appeal right will be irrevocably lost if not timely pursued. The same goes for a big pre-judgment win, since you should always know your opponents' options better than they do.