Haynes and Boone, LLP Orange County Partner M.C. Sungaila was recently appointed to the Judicial Council's Appellate Advisory Committee by the Chief Justice of California, and the State Bar of California Appellate Courts Committee. Each appointment is for a three-year term and effective this fall.
The Appellate Advisory Committee identifies issues and concerns affecting appellate court administration, practice, and procedure; proposes necessary changes to appellate rules, standards and forms; reviews and recommends legislation related to appellate courts, practice and procedure; and acts on assignments referred to it by the Judicial Council, the policy making body of the California courts. The 18-member committee includes appellate court justices, the clerk of the Supreme Court and an appellate court clerk, representatives of the attorney general and state public defender offices, and civil and criminal appellate practitioners.
The Appellate Courts Committee consists of 16 lawyers drawn from diverse sources such as appellate court research staff, defense and prosecution offices handling criminal appeals; law firms, solo practitioners and law school faculty. The committee is an approved legal specialization provider in the area of appellate law and plans and participates in the presentation of mandatory continuing legal education programs at the state bar's annual meeting. The committee also reviews proposed changes to the rules of court affecting appellate courts and reviews and comments on proposed legislation affecting appellate court operation and appellate practice. It may also initiate legislative and rules proposals in those areas.
Sungaila is an appellate bar leader on the international, national and local levels. She chairs both the International Association of Defense Counsel's Appellate Practice and Amicus Curiae Committees, serves on the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs (a seven-member committee appointed by the ABA President to vet all amicus briefs filed by the ABA), and co-chairs the ABA Judicial Division and Litigation Section Amicus Brief committees. She also serves as a 9th Circuit Appellate Lawyer Representative, is a member of the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions (appointed by the Chief Justice of California) and is the immediate past chair of the Orange County Bar Appellate Law Section.
At the firm, Sungaila is a member of the Appellate Practice Group. She has briefed and argued appeals raising cutting-edge and core business issues, and helped secure important rights for women and girls nationally and internationally. Clients call on her to craft approaches to emerging legal issues across multiple cases and jurisdictions and to provide pretrial and trial consultations in cases where an appeal by either side appears inevitable or a “key case” outcome might impact a whole series of cases for a client.