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Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

Our firm history, honors and awards, and locations speak to our collaborative approach and commitment to serving clients as well as the outstanding legal resources we bring to bear.


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Horvitz & Levy LLP, acting as pro bono counsel appointed by the California Supreme Court, won a victory protecting the rights of self-represented prisoners to pursue appellate review in civil cases.

The California Supreme Court extended to civil cases the “prison mailbox rule” which that court had previously applied only in criminal cases. The prison mailbox rule provides that “a self-represented prisoner’s notice of appeal in a criminal case is deemed timely filed if the notice is delivered to prison authorities pursuant to the procedures established for prisoner mail.” (Slip opinion, p. 1.)

Peter Silverbrand, a state-prison inmate, wanted to appeal from an adverse judgment against him in a medical malpractice case. Representing himself, he delivered a notice of appeal to the prison mail system within the time to appeal, but the notice was not received by the court until two days after the deadline had passed. The appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, but Silverbrand succesfully petitioned the California Supreme Court for review.  Horvitz & Levy was then appointed as pro bono counsel to brief and argue the case in the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court reversed and sent the case back to the Court of Appeal to resolve Silverbrand’s matter on its merits. The Court concluded that “[s]elf-represented prisoners -- who can file a notice of appeal only by delivering it to prison authorities for mailing -- should be allowed the same opportunity as nonprisoners and prisoners with counsel to pursue their appellate rights, regardless of the nature of the appeal pursued.”