About the Law Office of Johanna S. Schiavoni

The Law Office of Johanna S. Schiavoni does not focus on a particular area of law, but represents clients in all phases of litigation in state and federal appellate courts, covering a broad range of legal issues.

The firm also works with clients and attorneys in trial-stage proceedings to help develop litigation strategy, conduct research and analysis of claims and issues, prepare pleadings and written briefing, and conduct oral arguments on major motions.

Among the firm’s experience is handling general business litigation, consumer class actions, healthcare cases, intellectual property claims, employment matters, immigration cases, and criminal appeals. Click here to read more.

In addition to extensive experience handling appeals for parties directly involved in litigation, the firm also represents parties interested in filing amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in other pending cases.

Read more about Johanna S. Schiavoni, founder and principal of the firm.

Appellate Litigation and Strategic Counseling Services

The firm offers a variety of services to meet your needs, from handling or assisting with your appeal, to providing strategic counsel in your matters at the trial level.

Read more about the firm’s services or contact the firm to discuss your case.

What an Appellate Expert Can Do for You

Appeals are quite different from trials. They involve different strategy, procedures and perspective. Hiring appellate counsel brings these different, yet complimentary, skills to your litigation team. And, sometimes the best way to avoid a trial or settle a case is to have strong arguments for an appeal.

The all-important briefs. The most important part of an appeal is the written briefs, as an increasing number of appeals are decided without oral argument. Appellate briefs – and the issues and arguments raised – benefit from expert research and writing skills, strategic experience and unique insight.

Appellate briefs should not be a mere re-hashing of arguments raised below. They must address with laser focus the key arguments that could preserve or overturn the judgment below. They must demonstrate keen awareness of the appellate standard of review – that is, the lens through which the appellate court will view and decide the case. This is a critically important factor in any appeal. The briefs should anticipate questions and address obstacles the court may face in reaching your desired outcome. And they must clearly articulate the relief sought and provide the court a roadmap for how to reach your desired result.

As with many fine crafts, this is easier said than done. It takes time, experience, dedication and skill. An appellate attorney is expert at spending the time to research, analyze, edit and write strong briefs in your case, rather than trying to fit drafting an appellate brief into a trial attorney’s otherwise busy trial schedule. Hiring an appellate expert to prepare your briefs can bring a fresh perspective and insight about the key arguments in your case, and increase your chances of success on appeal against tough odds.

The impact of strong oral advocacy. Oral argument is increasingly infrequent, but when it happens, it is critically important. It provides the court with an opportunity ask questions and address trouble areas in the case. Appellate counsel skilled in answering the court’s questions, while advancing affirmative arguments and avoiding potential pitfalls at oral argument, can make all the difference.

As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg observed, “I have seen few victories snatched at oral argument from a total defeat the judges had anticipated on the basis of the briefs. But I have seen several potential winners become losers in whole or in part because of clarification elicited at oral argument.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Remarks on Appellate Advocacy,” 50 S.C. L. Rev. 567, 570 (1999).

Why pre-appeal preparation is important. Although an appeal typically occurs after trial or a final judgment from the court, appellate litigation – and good strategy – can start before the trial case is over. Preparation is key, and so is laying the groundwork for a potential later appeal. Making the right arguments at the right time – and knowing when and how to challenge or defend the court’s trial rulings, often on a short timeline – can be critical to securing a favorable outcome in post-trial proceedings or on appeal.

The Law Office of Johanna S. Schiavoni works with clients and trial counsel to assist with all phases of an appeal or in pre-appeal proceedings, and will bring extensive appellate experience to your case.

Read more about the firm’s services.


Johanna S. Schiavoni

  • California and New York bar admissions
  • Federal appellate court admissions in the Second, Ninth and Federal Circuits
  • Numerous federal district court admissions
  • B.A., Washington University in St. Louis
  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
  • Judicial extern, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Law Clerk, Judge Christina A. Snyder, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • Law Clerk, Judge M. Margaret McKeown, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Litigator at Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Partner, Appellate Litigation at Jacobs & Schlesinger LLP
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego – President (2013-2014)

Contact Information

Law Office of
Johanna S. Schiavoni

3170 Fourth Avenue
Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92103
T:(619) 269-4046
E:johanna@schiavoni-law.com
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