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Criminal Appeals Section

Section Overview

AUSAs in the Criminal Appeals Section supervise or handle all of the Office's matters before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, comprising approximately 300 appellate briefs and 110 oral arguments per year. These cases involve some of the most challenging legal issues in criminal law, including frequent constitutional issues, affirmative government appeals, appeals involving issues of first impression, and efforts to obtain en banc review. AUSAs in the section have also worked closely with the Solicitor General's Office to determine which cases raise significant legal issues that are worthy of government appeal, en banc rehearing, or Supreme Court review. While AUSAs from the other sections write the briefs for and argue many of their own appeals, AUSAs from the Criminal Appeals Section have editorial control over all of the briefs, hold "moot courts" for all the oral arguments, and both write and argue some of the more significant cases.

Section Leadership

Bram Alden

Bram Alden is the Chief of the Criminal Appeals Section.  He joined the United States Attorney’s Office in 2016 and has served in the Criminal Appeals Section since 2017, including as the Deputy Chief and Acting Chief before being appointed Chief.  

During his time as an AUSA, Mr. Alden has authored and/or reviewed hundreds of appellate briefs, has won two en banc victories, and has argued over 20 cases before the Ninth Circuit, including appeals from the convictions of former Sheriff Lee Baca and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.  

Mr. Alden has taught appellate advocacy and legal writing at the National Advocacy Center and has assisted numerous trial teams in hard-fought cases.  In 2020, he received an EOUSA Director’s Award for his role in helping the Department of Justice evaluate and respond to novel legal issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.  He also served as a member of the Equality Working Group, dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion.  

Before becoming an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Alden worked at Munger, Tolles & Olson for four years and clerked on the Ninth Circuit for the Honorable John B. Owens.  He graduated from UCLA School of Law, completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, and earned a master’s degree in education while teaching fifth grade as part of the Teach For America program.

Section Contact Information

The United States Attorney's Office
Central District of California
Criminal Division
Attn: Criminal Appeals Section
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

Updated December 2, 2022