Uncommon insight yields extraordinary results.

Paul Katz

Judicial philosophy

I started Katz Appellate Law to help clients win appeals by leveraging a holistic view of the law.

I believe that the issues on appeal are not isolated questions, focused solely on who is right or wrong in an individual case. Rather, these issues are part of an integrated system of law whose components work together to achieve legal harmony. Underlying those components are bedrock legal principles—immutable, broadly applicable rules that embody our legal system’s goals.

After careful analysis of cases, I’ve learned that appellate judges tend to see legal issues the same way. By centering my briefs around this shared vision, I maximize my clients’ chances of success.

I craft each of my briefs to be a valuable tool for appellate judges to use in deciding the appeal.

Before appellate judges decide an appeal, they must orient themselves within the legal world unique to the specific case. My briefs connect that world with what the judges already know about how the law works, especially their mastery of bedrock legal principles.

This approach has yielded extraordinary results for my clients.

I have won the vast majority of my civil appeals and writs.

My appellate track record has also led to recognition. I am 1 of about 300 attorneys certified by the California Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization as an Appellate Law Specialist. And I am 1 of about 100 members of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, the preeminent appellate group in the state.

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I formed my winning approach at top legal institutions.

At Northwestern University Law School, I had a knack for understanding how the law works. Instead of feverishly taking notes about a never-ending series of rules, I intuited the underlying connections between those rules. That holistic approach paid off: I got the top grade in a dozen of my classes and graduated among the top five students.

I then clerked for Judge Bea on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I thus got an intimate view of how appellate judges decide cases. I learned how to craft opinions that not only do justice between the parties but also promote a coherent system of law that guides future courts and parties.

Afterward, I litigated at Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP. There, I learned that deep thinking and a focus on precision lead to top-level work product. I then left because I wanted to work exclusively on appeals—constantly improving my research, analysis, and writing.

And when I’m not doing appeals…

I grew up in the Bay Area and live in the East Bay with my wife Nima and our two small children. We love hiking and traveling as a family. Outside of work, my fierce competitiveness drives my love for fitness and sports.

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Certification: Appellate Law Specialist, Certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the California Bar

Affiliation: California Academy of Appellate Lawyers

Clerkship: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Carlos Bea

Education: Northwestern University Law School, J.D. magna cum laude; University of California at Berkeley, B.S. (Haas School of Business)