Rachel E. Moffitt is an appellate attorney focusing on both civil and criminal appeals. She advises individuals and entities on how to preserve their appellate rights, and represents those same individuals and entities in pre-trial, and appellate proceedings, often undertaking substantive motion work in addition to appellate representation.
Ms. Moffitt handles high-profile appeals with significant import and exposure, including in the California Court of Appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit, and the California Supreme Court.
Ms. Moffitt handles substantive law and motion matters, and has enjoyed significant success in obtaining dismissals through pre-trial motions, including demurrers, motions for summary judgment, and various motions to dismiss. Her keen analytical skills contribute to her clarity in thinking and writing, and thereby to her success in the trial court and on appeal.
Examples of Ms. Moffitt's prior representation results include:
- Obtaining reversal of an adverse judgment on an issue of statutory interpretation following nearly a decade of litigation, including multiple appeals, to the overall benefit of public agencies throughout the state (published opinion).
- Obtaining reversal of an adverse judgment on an issue of statutory interpretation and standing to sue to the overall benefit of taxpayer organizations throughout the state (published opinion).
- Preparing supplemental briefing following oral argument to address new case law on the primary issue on appeal, and thereafter successfully obtaining reversal of an adverse ruling.
- Obtaining dismissal in arbitration by way of a motion for summary disposition in an Amended Tort Claims Ordinance case.
- Obtaining dismissal in federal court by way of a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction in an alleged malpractice case.
- Obtaining dismissal in state court by way of a motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens in an alleged fraud and misrepresentation case.
- Obtaining dismissal of an indictment in state court for failure to produce exculpatory evidence and denial of due process rights.
Ms. Moffitt was recognized as a Super Lawyers® Rising Star in both 2017 and 2018, and was recently selected by The Daily Transcript as one of San Diego’s most influential women. Ms. Moffitt is an active member of the Enright Inn of Court, and an Executive Board Member of the newly-formed Appellate Inn of Court, the first of its kind in California, where she serves as the Board Member at Large and a member of the Communications Committee.
Ms. Moffitt dedicates her spare time to providing pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations. She recently undertook representation of a child from Guatemala, who fled his country to escape unspeakable gang violence and abuse. She helped her client obtain political asylum, a life-changing result not easily accomplished, and thereafter undertook representation of his younger brother, who is seeking the same relief. Ms. Moffitt recently received a Pro Bono Publico Award for her dedicated and passionate work.
Ms. Moffitt also volunteers with the Civil Appellate Self-Help Workshop, a free workshop for predominantly unrepresented individuals focusing on the appellate process, court rules and appellate procedure.
Ms. Moffitt earned her Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law where she graduated second in her class. There, she was a Senior Editor of the California Western Law Review. Ms. Moffitt is also a published author, with an article recently printed in Georgetown University’s The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law.
Ms. Moffitt received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley where she was the captain of her NCAA Division I Field Hockey team and a member of the National Academic Squad.