Herb Fox, a Certified Appellate Law Specialist with judicial and litigation experience, brings a unique prospective to neutral evaluation and special master assignments; a well-honed instinct for appealable issues and the likely outcome of an appeal. His neutral evaluation will not only predict the likely outcome at the trial court level, but also at the appellate level, an element frequently missing from pre-trial analysis of the merits of a case.
Mr. Fox graduated with honors from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco in 1986. He then spent three years working closely with Justice Arthur Gilbert, now the presiding justice of the Second District Court of Appeal (Division Six) in Ventura. During his years at the Court of Appeal, Mr. Fox reviewed over 120 appellate records, covering civil topics from A to Z: adoption to zoning, and almost everything in between. He conducted independent legal analysis of the parties’ claims, and assisted Justice Gilbert in drafting the written appellate decisions.
Mr. Fox left the appellate court in 1990 to enter private practice in Santa Barbara, which has been his home since 1976. His civil litigation experience includes real estate, personal injury, business and contract disputes, and probate litigation.
Mr. Fox set up his own firm in 1997, and in 1998 he was certified by the State Bar as an appellate specialist. He has handled a wide variety of civil appeals and writs in areas as varied as family law and public employee collective bargaining disputes. Mr. Fox also consults with trial attorneys before and during trial, helping assure preservation of the appellate record. These consultations include legal research on discrete issues, drafting special jury instructions, and handling post-judgment proceedings such as new trial motions.
In order to help preserve the judicial prospective he gained while clerking for Justice Gilbert, Mr. Fox frequently serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Small Claims Division of the Santa Barbara trial court, where he has presided over 30 or more full calendars.
Mr. Fox completed his neutral evaluation training in March, 2000.
He welcomes no-obligation consultations with counsel to discuss how his experience and training matches their need for neutral evaluation or a special master.