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“Tackling Court Reporter Scarcity in California,” Presented to Santa Cruz Bar Association (Feb. 22, 2024)

Last updated on March 16, 2024 by Tim Kowal
Last month, I presented to the Santa Cruz Bar Association about the dwindling reserves of court reporters in California. The presentation includes a brief history why California law mostly prohibits electronic recording, why we have a critical shortage of court reporters, and what it means for your practice. You can download a PDF of the...Read More >>

CEB has my article, “Restraining Order Against an Attorney Must Be Based on Multiple Instances of Non-Litigation Conduct”

Last updated on January 26, 2024 by Tim Kowal
CEB DailyNews has published my article, “Restraining Order Against an Attorney Must Be Based on Multiple Instances of Non-Litigation Conduct.” This is about Hansen v. Volkov (D2d7 Sep. 18, 2023) No. B311524 (cert. for pub.), where an attorney got a restraining order against her opposing counsel in a family law case. But the Court of...Read More >>

CEB has my article, “Arbitrator reversed for basing credibility on use of interpreter”

Last updated on January 12, 2024 by Tim Kowal
CEB DailyNews has published my article, “Arbitrator reversed for basing credibility on use of interpreter.” The article is about FCM Invs. v. Grove Pham, LLC (D4d1 Oct. 17, 2023) No. D080801. The arbitrator had ruled against the appellant based on a credibility determination, noting that “Mrs. Pham's use of an interpreter appeared to the Arbitrator...Read More >>

CEB has my article “Specific Jurisdiction May Be Based on Past Contacts with Forum, Says 9th Circuit Panel over Judge VanDyke Dissent”

Last updated on December 15, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB DailyNews has published my article, “Specific Jurisdiction May Be Based on Past Contacts with Forum, Says 9th Circuit Panel over Judge VanDyke Dissent.” The article is about Impossible Foods Inc. v. Impossible X LLC, No. 21-16977 (9th Cir. Sep. 12, 2023), where the district court had ruled that, in a lawsuit involving trademark enforcement,...Read More >>

CEB has my article, “Sanctions of $8.7M was voidable, but not void, and so was reinstated on appeal”

Last updated on December 8, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB DailyNews has published my article, “Sanctions of $8.7M was voidable, but not void, and so was reinstated on appeal.” The article is about In re the Marriage of Jensen (D2d2 Sep. 5, 2023) No. B320565 (nonpub. opn.), which distinguished void from voidable judgments. What makes a judgment or order “voidable” or “void” can be...Read More >>

CEB has my article, “Pay in 30 Days or Arbitration Is Forfeit—And ‘Check Is in the Mail’ Does Not Cut It”

Last updated on December 4, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB’s DailyNews has published my article, “Pay in 30 Days or Arbitration Is Forfeit -- and 'Check Is in the Mail' Does Not Cut It.” The article is a reminder to ensure you pay arbitration fees within 30 days. And make sure not only that fees have been paid, but received. The employer-defendant in Doe v....Read More >>

CEB DailyNews: How to Preserve Appellate Rights in Your Arbitration Agreement

Last updated on November 13, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB’s DailyNews has published my article, “How to Preserve Appellate Rights in Your Arbitration Agreement.” The article illustrates how to use the California Supreme Court’s suggestion in Cable Connection, Inc. v. DIRECTV, Inc. (2008) 44 Cal.4th 1334 that parties agreeing to arbitration may also agree that the award be subject to judicial review on the merits. The case is...Read More >>

When It Comes to Writs of Administrative Mandamus, the Appealability Rules Are Confused (published at CEB)

Last updated on June 15, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “When It Comes to Writs of Administrative Mandamus, the Appealability Rules Are Confused,” available here. The article is about the mandamus case of County of Santa Cruz v. Santa Cruz County Civil Service Commission (D6 May 5, 2023 no. H049856) 2023 WL 3267749 (nonpub. opn.). The setup is that, when...Read More >>

CEB has my article, What Happens to a Fee Award After the Judgment Is Reversed? Try a Stipulated Reversal

Last updated on April 27, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “What Happens to a Fee Award After the Judgment Is Reversed? Try a Stipulated Reversal.” In the short article, I discuss a common confusing scenario: what happens when a judgment is reversed, but the fee award is still on appeal? That is what happened in Mid-Wilshire Property, L.P. v. Dr. Leevil,...Read More >>

Appeal Filed One Minute Late—Literally One Minute—Dismissed As Untimely

Last updated on March 9, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “Appeal Filed One Minute Late—Literally One Minute—Dismissed As Untimely,” about an appeal challenge anti-SLAPP fees in McKenna v. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. (D2d5 Feb. 15, 2023 No. B304256) 2023 WL 2007687 (nonpub. opn.). To file the notice of appeal, the attorney logged on to the e-filing system late in the...Read More >>

Ten Trial Tips from an Appellate Specialist

Last updated on February 20, 2023 by Tim Kowal
Last week I presented my talk “Ten Trial Tips from an Appellate Specialist” to the San Francisco Lawyers Network (Feb. 16, 2023). Here are the tips: Rule Zero: Make the Record #1 Make sure your theories of the case are captured in your pleadings #2 Was key evidence excluded? Preserve the issue by making a...Read More >>

There Is No Such Thing As a “Corporate Representative” or “Person Most Qualified” Witness (CEB)

Last updated on February 6, 2023 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “There Is No Such Thing As a “Corporate Representative” or “Person Most Qualified” Witness.” The article discusses Ramirez v. Avon Products, Inc. (D2d8 Jan. 23. 2023 no. B313982) --- Cal.Rptr.3d --- (2023 WL 354915), which reversed a summary judgment. The corporate defendant had supported summary judgment with a “corporate representative”...Read More >>

SLAPP Fee Award Held Not Appealable If SLAPP Order Itself Is Not Appealed

Last updated on December 22, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “SLAPP Fee Award Held Not Appealable If SLAPP Order Itself Is Not Appealed.” The article is about a recent appellate opinion, Ibbetson v. Grant (D4d3 Nov. 30, 2022) No. G060473 (nonpub. opn.), that holds that an order on an anti-SLAPP fee motion is not appealable. But there are conflicting cases...Read More >>

Personal Jurisdiction Unnecessary to Issue Judgment on an Out-of-State Judgment, New Published CA Case Holds

Last updated on December 7, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “Personal Jurisdiction Unnecessary to Issue Judgment on an Out-of-State Judgment, New Published CA Case Holds.” The article is about a surprising recent appellate opinion, WV 23 Jumpstart, LLC v. Mynarcik (D3 Nov. 21, 2022) No. C095046, that allowed a Nevada judgment debtor to domesticate a judgment in California—even though the...Read More >>

SLAPP Fee Award Held Not Appealable If SLAPP Order Itself Is Not Appealed

Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Tim Kowal
We know that anti-SLAPP orders are appealable—it says so right in the anti-SLAPP statute. But what about orders on anti-SLAPP fees? Appealability of fee awards are not mentioned in the statute. So the courts have been all over the place, with some finding anti-SLAPP fee awards appealable, some finding them nonappealable, and some finding them...Read More >>

Settlement Offer Under Section 998 Automatically Expires If Judge Grants Summary Judgment

Last updated on November 28, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “Settlement Offer Under Section 998 Automatically Expires If Judge Grants Summary Judgment,” originally published here. The article may be cited as Tim Kowal, “Settlement Offer Under Section 998 Automatically Expires If Judge Grants Summary Judgment,” CEB (Nov. 15, 2022), available at http://bit.ly/3ATYO9Q A PDF of the article is here: Kowal_Section998.pdf...Read More >>

Preparing the Excerpts of Record for Federal Appeals

Last updated on November 13, 2022 by Tim Kowal
“NALA has published” Tim Kowal (Presenter), “Preparing the Excerpts of Record for Federal Appeals,” NALA (Mar. 24, 2022), This course provides an overview of designating the record and preparing the Appendix or Excerpts of Record for federal appeals. Preparing the record is critically important to success on appeal, but is often overlooked by attorneys, who...Read More >>

Something You Didn't Know About 998 Offers

Last updated on November 11, 2022 by Tim Kowal
“CEB has published” Tim Kowal, “Something You Didn't Know About 998 Offers,” CEB (Apr. 30, 2021), available at  http://bit.ly/3AbqAhI Plaintiff can still recover post-offer fees even if Plaintiff does not beat the 998 offer, according to Regueiro v. FCA US, LLC (2d Dist., Div. 1 Nov. 19, 2020) Case No. B301772 (unpublished). My original blog...Read More >>

Making Sense of the California Supreme Court's Publication Rules

Last updated on by Tim Kowal
“CEB has published” Tim Kowal, “Making Sense of the California Supreme Court's Publication Rules,” CEB (May 21, 2021), available at http://bit.ly/3Emu0AC. Attorneys are aware how important it is to confirm the precedential value of a recent published "smoking gun" decision on all fours with your case. One factor that can greatly disturb the citability of...Read More >>

MSJ Evidence Rulings Are Discretionary, California Appellate Court Holds in Split of Authority

Last updated on by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “MSJ Evidence Rulings Are Discretionary, California Appellate Court Holds in Split of Authority,” about the recent published opinion in Doe v. Software One, Inc. (D4d3 Oct. 12, 2022 no. G060554) 2022 WL 6901145 holding that evidentiary rulings in connection with summary judgment are reviewed on appeal for abuse of discretion....Read More >>

CEB has my article, “Don’t Seek Default Without Notifying Opposing Counsel”

Last updated on October 27, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article, “Don’t Seek Default Without Notifying Opposing Counsel,” available at  https://bit.ly/3WjAZ4m The PDF article is here: Tim Kowal_CEB has my article, “Don’t Seek Default Without Notifying Opposing Counsel”.pdf The article summarizes a recent case, Shapell Socal Rental Properties, LLC v. Chico’s Fas, Inc. (D4d3 Oct. 17, 2022 no. G060411) ___ Cal.Rptr.3d...Read More >>

Excluding Expert's Rebuttal Opinion Can Be Grounds to Reverse Jury Verdict

Last updated on October 11, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has my article, “Excluding Expert's Rebuttal Opinion Can Be Grounds to Reverse Jury Verdict,” about Kline v. Zimmer, Inc. (May 26, 2022, B302544) ___ Cal.App.5th ___. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/3bqglfY. The PDF article is here: Tim Kowal_Excluding Expert's Rebuttal Opinion Can Be Grounds to Reverse Jury Verdict.pdf The case involved a trial error in which the...Read More >>

Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal Code 496 in Business-Tort Cases

Last updated on by Tim Kowal
CEB has republished my article, “Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal Code 496 in Business-Tort Cases,” about the recent decision in Siry Investment, L.P. v. Farkhondehpour (Cal. Jul. 21, 2022 No. S262081) 2022 WL 2840312. The PDF article is here: Tim Kowal_Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal...Read More >>

My recent article, Preparing the Appendix in Federal Appeals, in the latest issue of Facts & Findings

Last updated on September 1, 2022 by Tim Kowal
If you are setting out on a federal appeal, you will need to prepare the record. To help attorneys and paralegals in this task, you can read my article, “Preparing the Appendix in Federal Appeals,” in the latest issue of Facts & Findings, published by NALA. The link to the article is here: https://bit.ly/3wO1i7ARead More >>

CEB Repost of My Article on Siry Investment Affirming Civil-Theft Remedies in Business Tort Cases

Last updated on August 10, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has republished my article, “Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal Code 496 in Business-Tort Cases,” about the recent decision in Siry Investment, L.P. v. Farkhondehpour (Cal. Jul. 21, 2022 No. S262081) 2022 WL 2840312. Siry held that the remedies under Penal Code section 496(c) — treble damages and attorney...Read More >>

SLAPP Fee Awards Are Automatically Stayed on Appeal: My Article in Cal. Litigation

Last updated on June 8, 2022 by Tim Kowal
California Litigation has published my article “Are Anti-SLAPP Fee Awards Stayed on Appeal?” in its Spring 2022 issue. You can access the online version here: https://bit.ly/3aFty3P A PDF of the article is here: Litigation-Volume-35-Number-1-2022, T. Kowal, Are Anti-SLAPP Fee Awards Stayed.pdf My article answers the question: Yes, anti-SLAPP fees are automatically stayed on appeal. But...Read More >>

Draft Your RFAs With Costs of Proof and Settlement in Mind

Last updated on May 16, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my article on Spahn v. Richards (2021) 72 Cal.App.5th 208, which awarded a staggering $239,000 in costs-of-proof attorney fees for refusing to admit a request for admission. You can read the article here. The PDF article is here: Tim Kowal_Draft Your RFAs With Costs of Proof and Settlement in Mind.pdf Spahn held...Read More >>

'Gamesmanship' Throughout Litigation May Raise Risk of Sanctions on Appeal

Last updated on April 13, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB published my short article on McQueen v. Huang (D2d8 Mar. 4, 2022 no. B304645) 2022 WL 630606, a decision that imposed appellate sanctions on a litigant based on “gamesmanship” in the trial court. Not in the appellate court — the appellate sanctions were for trial court conduct. The article is available at CEB’s website...Read More >>

A Trap for the Unwary: Order on a Post-Settlement Fee Motion May Be Unappealable

Last updated on February 3, 2022 by Tim Kowal
CEB has published my short article, “A Trap for the Unwary: Order on a Post-Settlement Fee Motion May Be Unappealable.” (The article was originally published on my blog here.) The article covers the published opinion in Sanchez v. Westlake Services, LLC (D2d7 Jan. 18, 2022 No. B308435) 2022 WL 1522087. The parties settled a consumer...Read More >>

Don't Fall Into the "No Statement of Decision" Trap

Last updated on December 20, 2021 by Tim Kowal
CEB published my article, “Don't Fall Into the "No Statement of Decision" Trap,” which cautions trial attorneys to make sure to formally request a statement of decision. A statement of decision can be a powerful base from which to launch an attack on a judgment, so do you think courts make it easy for you...Read More >>

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

— James Madison, Federalist 62

"Moot points have to be settled somehow, once they get thrust upon us. If an assertion cannot be proved, then it must be settled some other way, and nearly all of these ways are unfair to somebody."

—T.H. White, The Once and Future King

"At common law, barratry was 'the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up suits and quarrels' (4 Blackstone, Commentaries 134) and was punished as a misdemeanor."

Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187

"Upon putting laws into writing, they became even harder to change than before, and a hundred legal fictions rose to reconcile them with reality."

— Will Durant

"It may be that the court is thought to be excessively legalistic. I should be sorry to think that it is anything else."

— Hon. Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of Australia

"So far as the beginnings of law had theories, the first theory of liability was in terms of a duty to buy off the vengeance of him to whom an injury had been done whether by oneself or by something in one's power. The idea is put strikingly in the Anglo-Saxon legal proverb, 'Buy spear from side or bear it,' that is, buy off the feud or fight it out."

— Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.

Leviticus

"Counsel on the firing line in an actual trial must be prepared for surprises, including requests for amendments of pleading. They cannot ask that a judgment afterwards obtained be set aside merely because their equilibrium was slightly disturbed by an unexpected motion."

Posz v. Burchell (1962) 209 Cal.App.2d 324, 334

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

— Plato (427-347 B.C.)

"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

— H.L. Mencken

"God made the angels to show Him splendor, … Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."

— Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons

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