Johanna Schiavoni has extensive appellate litigation experience, ranging from strategizing with and assisting trial counsel, to handling all aspects of briefing, motion practice, and argument on appeal, and serving as amicus curiae counsel to clients seeking to weigh in on substantive issues pending in various state and federal courts.

Johanna also has significant experience handling commercial cases at the trial level, which guides her as she strategically prepares any appeal and counsels trial attorneys on various issues relating to trial and appeal. Her experience includes managing large scale discovery; drafting dispositive pre-trial and trial motions, class certification briefing, and jury instructions and special verdict forms; drafting Markman briefing (for claim construction in patent cases); taking and defending depositions; preparing witnesses for deposition and trial testimony; examining witnesses at trial; and drafting post-trial and attorneys fees motions.

Johanna provides dedicated service and has achieved outstanding results for her clients. Representative matters are described below.


Johanna Schiavoni’s Appellate and Trial Experience

  • Won complete appellate victory in sexual harassment and wrongful termination case against a prominent San Diego golf club in California Court of Appeal (briefed and argued). Secured reversal of summary judgment on all five causes of action adjudicated by the trial court, including including hostile work environment sexual harassment, failure to prevent harassment and retaliation in violation of the Fair Housing and Employment Act, in addition to claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Dawson v. Country Club of Rancho Bernardo (Mar. 23, 2015) 2015 WL 1311302, 126 Fair Empl.Prac.Cas. (BNA) 1300.
  • Represent high level employee in California Court of Appeal case (briefed and argued).  Represent high level employee in wrongful termination and defamation action against former employer.
  • Represent individual client in Ninth Circuit criminal appeal (briefed). Represent client in Ninth Circuit appeal challenging conviction for alien in possession of a firearm.
  • Won Ninth Circuit civil rights appeal on novel legal issue with broad implications for medical treatment cases (briefed and argued). The Ninth Circuit adopted Johanna’s legal arguments for reversal of a trial court’s dismissal of a prisoner’s claim for injunctive relief, and reversal of summary judgment and denial of discovery on damages claims, in case that has broad implications in civil rights and medical treatment litigation in the State of California.  Pride v. Correa, 719 F.3d 1130 (9th Cir. 2013).
  • Represented parent company, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in U.S. District Court, California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court (advisor to trial counsel; author of briefs and amicus letters). In multiple matters in state and federal courts, Johanna represented a parent company, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in healthcare and consumer class actions as appellate counsel and counsel for amicus curiae.
  • Represented juvenile in direct appeal from wardship findings (briefed and argued). Represented juvenile in direct appeal of wardship findings on charges of battery and resisting a peace officer.
  • Represented high level employee in California Court of Appeal case (briefed and argued). Represented high level employee in employment discrimination and retaliation case against former employer.
  • Represented individual client in Ninth Circuit criminal appeal (briefed). Represented client in Ninth Circuit criminal appeal raising sentencing challenge and procedural due process claims.
  • Represented parent company and skilled nursing facilities in California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court (briefed). Served as appellate counsel for defendants on four separate writ petitions and petitions for review, and in class de-certification proceedings, in case alleging claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and provisions of the Health and Safety Code. Case ultimately settled during trial proceedings.
  • Appellate counsel to large investment bank during five-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court (appellate counsel to trial team). Represented large investment bank as appellate counsel to client and trial team in complex, high-stakes case tried to a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court on ten different California causes of action – observed all trial proceedings, assisted with preparation of briefing, jury instructions, the special verdict form, and preserving the record during the trial. Case settled five weeks into trial.
  • Amicus counsel to large chemical company in California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court (co-authored amicus curiae briefs). Represented large chemical company as amicus curiae counsel in the California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court in insurance coverage case addressing stacking of policy limits and allocation of insurance coverage under general liability insurance policies. Co-authored amicus curiae briefs cited in successful court opinions.
  • Settled multi-million dollar wage and hour class action. Represented large government contractor in wage and hour class action litigation and settlement. Oversaw settlement, including certification of class, notice, opt outs, objections and final settlement proceedings.
  • Complete appellate victory for immigrant victim of fraud by prior legal counsel (briefed). Won significant relief on appeal for Mexican immigrant injured by fraud and ineffective assistance of counsel committed by “immigration consulting firm.” The Board of Immigration Appeals granted Johanna’s request to reconsider and reopen the case, vacated three prior court orders refusing to reopen the case, and remanded the case for new proceedings before the Immigration Court.
  • Represented individual immigrant in appeal before Board of Immigration Appeals (briefed and argued). Represented Mexican immigrant in bond appeal raising novel constitutional challenges to prolonged civil detention. Prepared extensive briefing and presented (very rare) oral argument before Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Virginia. Case became moot before the Board issued its decision.
  • Represented habeas petitioner in Ninth Circuit (briefed and argued): Represented incarcerated defendant raising Sixth Amendment challenge to sentence imposed by the state sentencing court, relying on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Cunningham v. California, 549 U.S. 270 (2007). Case resulted in published opinion: Kessee v. Mendoza-Powers, 569 F.3d 1000, as amended by 574 F.3d 675 (9th Cir. 2009).
  • Represented client in California Court of Appeal raising novel issues as to unconstitutionality of search and seizure of mail (briefed and argued). Represented client in direct criminal appeal in California Court of Appeal case raising novel Fourth Amendment search and seizure issues regarding the search of mail.
  • Represented minor in California Court of Appeal (briefed and argued). Counsel for minor in appeal from juvenile delinquency disposition on misdemeanor and felony assault charges.
  • Won jury trial on behalf of defendant in trademark action (defended case from start through trial). Successfully defended small business against claims for trade dress infringement, dilution, and unfair competition in federal court. Obtained unanimous defense jury verdict and an award of costs in favor of the defendant.
  • Prosecuted claim for trademark infringement on behalf of documentary film makers (complaint, preliminary injunction briefing and settlement). Represented documentary film makers as plaintiffs in trademark infringement action, preparing complaint and motion for preliminary injunction. Brokered favorable settlement for the client shortly after initiating court action. The film, entitled Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, was re-edited and re-released in 2009 to further critical acclaim and awards, and includes film credits thanking Johanna for her work.
  • Obtained $18 million verdict for plaintiff patent-holder in bench trial (extensive discovery, briefing and trial).Member of trial team that represented patent holder in action for patent infringement regarding foundational patent for liquid crystal displays (e.g., as used in mobile phones and handheld devices), and successfully obtained $18 million verdict for plaintiff following a bench trial on the issue of damages.
  • Successfully defended large nutritional company against claims of patent infringement (extensive discovery, trial court briefing and settlement). Member of successful defense litigation team in an action regarding tablet-making methods. Achieved withdrawal of claims by plaintiff patent holder, an award of costs to defendants, and a favorable settlement of remaining claims.

Contact Information

Law Office of
Johanna S. Schiavoni

3170 Fourth Avenue
Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92103
T:(619) 269-4046
LinkedIn Avvo

Summary of the Firm’s Services

The Appeal

  • Notice of appeal
  • Preparing the record on appeal
  • Briefing
  • Consulting about briefs
  • Post-briefing letters updating the court about newly-issued opinions
  • Amicus briefs & letters
  • Oral argument
  • Moot courts
  • Mediation pending appeal


  • Major motions
  • Trial proceedings
  • Extraordinary writs
  • Other potentially appealable decisions
  • Posting an appeal bond
  • Seeking bail pending appeal
  • Moving for a stay of removal pending appeal


  • Post-appeal motions
  • Post-appeal petitions

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