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John L. Dodd, Esq.

Founding Attorney
  • Profile

John L. Dodd has been handling appeals throughout the State of California, on behalf of both appellants and respondents, as well as writ petitions, since 1989. Mr. Dodd is a California Certified Appellate Specialist and is experienced in civil, family, trust and estate, juvenile, parental rights, criminal and adoption appeals. He has filed briefs in every District of the California Court of Appeal, both in Northern and Southern California. He also has expertise in preparing Petitions for Review for the California Supreme Court on behalf of individuals and businesses and has filed briefs in the Ninth Circuits and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Dodd attended the University of California at Davis and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Law and Juris Doctor degrees from Western State University in Fullerton, California. He also studied International Law and Legal History at Downing College, Cambridge University, in Cambridge, England. While in law school, he won the “Best Oralist” award in moot court and participated on the Jessup International Law moot court team. He was an editorial board member and staff writer for the Law Review and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Awards in Property Law and Criminal Procedure.

Mr. Dodd was a staff attorney at the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, and worked in tort defense and appellate law firms before opening his own practice in 1989. Originally a combined civil litigation and appellate practice, Mr. Dodd’s practice has been devoted exclusively to appellate matters and legal research for over twenty years.

Mr. Dodd was admitted to the California Bar in 1986 and the United States Supreme Court in 1990. He also is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits.

He also has been active in bar association and community affairs for many years. He has served as a member of the California Advisory Commission to the United States Commission on Civil rights from 2007 through 2013. In 2004 John served as the Chairman of the Committee of Bar Examiners, State Bar of California, after completing three years as a Committee Member. He served from 1998 to 2001 on the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE), State Bar of California. Prior to that, he served for a year on the State Bar’s Committee on Appellate courts and has assisted in drafting questions for the Appellate Specialization Exam.

More locally, Mr. Dodd was a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association for six years, from 1996 to 2002 and served on many committees, including the Conference of Delegates, the Ethics and Professionalism Task Force, the Judiciary Committee Task Force, and the Investment Policy Committee. He was the President of the Orange County Barristers in 1996 and served for many years on that board. Mr. Dodd was the chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Appellate Section in 1994 and the Program Chair in 1993.

Mr. Dodd participates in community affairs at the local, state, and national level. He has been active in the Federalist Society, currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Civil Rights Practice Group for over 15 years. He was President of the Orange County Lawyer’s Chapter from 2004 through 2008 and was a board member of that chapter for over 15 years.

He also has served several terms as President of the Orange County Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, as well as “Chancellor,” or chief legal officer, of the California Society, and served as President of the California Society for the 2011-2012 term. He served two terms as Chancellor General of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, and currently is serving as Treasurer General of the SAR after serving five years on the board of the SAR Foundation.

Mr. Dodd has achieved the Martindale-Hubbell “AV Preeminent” rating, the highest possible, as well as being selected a Super Lawyer, and a Top Attorney in Orange County by Orange Coast Magazine as well as in Southern California by Los Angeles Magazine.

Articles & CLE Presentations

  • Benefits of OCBA Section Membership, Orange County Lawyer, November 1994
  • Parental Rights Primer, Orange County Lawyer, May 1994
  • Book Review: Takings, Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (1987) 14 Western State University Law Review 639
  • Note: People v. Ruggles: The Ruggles, Robbins, Ross Roundabout, (1986)13 Western State University Law Review 641.
  • Co-Author, Federalist Society White Paper, The Case for Judicial Appointments, (1993)

Continuing Legal Education Speaker on Appellate Practice & Related Issues

  • Orange County Barristers
  • Orange County Bar Association, College of Appellate Advocacy
  • Orange County Bar Association, Appellate Section
  • California Academy of Adoption Lawyers
  • American Association of Adoption Attorneys
  • California Association of Appellate Defense Counsel
  • Chapman University School of Law
  • Simon Greenleaf (now Trinity) School of Law
  • Western Orange County Bar Association
  • Newport Harbor Bar Association

Notable Cases

Mr. Dodd has handled in excess of 1,000 appellate matters in the Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court. John has appeared on Donahue, American Journal, CNN and numerous news broadcasts in connection with his work. He has succeeded in approximately 100 published cases, including Johnson v. Calvert (1993) 5 Cal.4th 84; In re Zacharia D. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 435; In re Charlotte D. (2009) 45 Cal.4th 1140; Adoption of Joshua S. (2008) 42 Cal.4th 945; In re Marriage of Moschetta (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1218; In re Bridget R. (1996) 41 Cal.App.4th 1483; In re Santos Y. (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 1274; Frederick v. Superior Court (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 988 and In re Marriage of Samson (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 23. Jeff Tracy, Inc. v. City of Pico Rivera (2015) 240 Cal.App.4th 510; People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665, and C.M. v. M.C. (2017) 7 Cal.App.5th 1188.

CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure’s standards and policies.

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