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 is an appellate victory on behalf of the San Diego Unified School District in the case Srouy v. SDUSD. This published opinion speaks to several issues that often arise in litigation for school districts throughout the state, including various mandatory duties and issues pertaining to the constitutional “free school guarantee.” Read the published opinion here.

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 list from 2017 to 2022, 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 Programs Chair.

Speaking Engagements

  • Women in Trial, California Western School of Law Women’s Law Caucus and Moot Court Honors Board, April 13, 2022
  • The Changing Landscape of Employment Law: Arbitration, PAGA, and Appeals, Association of Corporate Counsel, CLE Webinar, May 12, 2022 (presented with Kyle Nageotte)

Awards & Honors

  • San Diego Daily Transcript Top 40 Under 40 (2020)
  • Super Lawyers® "Rising Star" (2017-2022)
  • San Diego Metro Magazine 40 Under 40 Award
  • Casa Cornelia Pro Bono Publico Award
  • State Bar of California Wiley W. Manuel Certificate for Pro Bono Legal Services
  • Daily Transcript, Women of Influence
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America© "Ones to Watch" (2023)


  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • California Young Lawyers Association
  • Tom Homann Law Association
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego (Co-Chair of Amicus Briefs Committee)
  • American Inns of Court, William B. Enright Chapter
  • Appellate Inn of Court (Programs Chair)
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