Rachel Moffitt Garrard is an appellate attorney focusing on both civil and criminal appeals.
Ms. Garrard 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. She handles high-profile appeals in all state and federal appellate courts, including primarily 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. Garrard has been successful in obtaining dismissals through pre-trial motions, including demurrers, motions for summary judgment, and various motions to dismiss. She is often commended for her analytical skills and clear writing style, which has contributed to her success in trial courts and on appeal. One of her recent successes was obtaining a 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 and taxpayers throughout the state.
In her spare time, Ms. Garrard provides 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. She also serves her community by volunteering at a monthly Civil Appellate Self-Help Workshop, a free workshop for unrepresented individuals focusing on the appellate process, court rules, and appellate procedure; and at a bi-monthly Name and Gender-Marker Change Clinic, a free clinic at the San Diego LGBT Community Center that provides assistance with official name and gender-marker change documents. Ms. Garrard was recently recognized for her passion and dedication with a Pro Bono Publico Award from Casa Cornelia.
Ms. Garrard has been recognized as a Super Lawyers® Rising Star since 2017, and was selected by The Daily Transcript as one of San Diego’s most influential women. She 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.