Orly Degani is a California Certified Appellate Specialist. For over twenty years, she has provided clients with exceptional representation in appellate matters before both federal and state appellate courts. Her appellate practice has covered a wide spectrum of substantive areas, including complex business disputes, class actions, arbitration, employment, insurance coverage, real estate, trusts and estates, worker’s compensation, construction defects, professional malpractice, toxic torts, products and premises liability, constitutional law, and criminal law.
Orly has been recognized throughout her career for the superior quality of her work. While still a student at Stanford Law School, she was honored with the Hilmer Ohelman, Jr., Award for Excellence in Legal Research and Writing. After earning her J.D. with distinction in 1994, she secured a prestigious clerkship with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. There, she polished her talent analyzing legal briefs and authorities and drafting judicial opinions on behalf of the late Honorable David R. Thompson, who described her in 1997 as “the best law clerk [he] ever had.” In 2005, after focusing her private practice on appeals for several years, Orly was named a “Top 20 Under 40” attorney by the California Daily Journal. Orly has been repeatedly included on the annual lists of The Best Lawyers in America© and California Super Lawyers® based on her reputation as a premier appellate practitioner. She also is a fellow of the exclusive California Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
Orly’s past experience as a trial lawyer enhances her abilities as an appellate advocate. Unlike many appellate specialists who have never set foot in a trial court, Orly spent several years after her judicial clerkship at the prominent trial litigation firm Keker & Van Nest, where she litigated a variety of civil and criminal cases. She then served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, where she prosecuted several criminal trials in addition to handling numerous criminal appeals. Her hands-on trial experience gives her critical insight about the trial process which allows her to more effectively advise and assist clients and their trial counsel at the superior court level to best position cases for potential appeal, and to craft appellate arguments that make real-world sense. After Orly decided to concentrate her practice exclusively on appeals, she continued to develop her expertise in appellate matters at the appellate law firm Horvitz & Levy LLP, and later in the appellate department of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. In 2014, she opened her own appellate law practice. She cares deeply about her clients, immerses herself in their cases, and works tenaciously to achieve the best possible outcomes for them on appeal.
Orly serves on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee, and is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Appellate Courts Committee. As a public service, she periodically accepts court-appointed appeals on behalf of indigent criminal defendants. In addition to her regular practice, Orly devotes pro bono time to legal matters involving the treatment of animals. She has taught courses on appellate judicial decision-making and animal law as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Law School.