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February 20, 2024
Sleep Well, Crush Your Enemies, with Leslie Porter

You thought health and wellness was just for hippies, losers and weirdos. But you were wrong. Leslie Porter explains that if you are waiting for your health issues to become acute enough for a prescription, you are not at your best. Not only are you laying the groundwork for possible big problems down the road, […]

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February 19, 2024
Denying an untimely but meritorious motion for reconsideration was reversible error

After the trial court compelled arbitration in a car-defect dispute, the plaintiff moved for reconsideration. But the trial court’s ruling was correct, and the plaintiff’s motion was untimely. So it was no surprise when the court denied the motion. That made it all the more surprising when the Court of Appeal in Contreras v. Superior […]

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February 14, 2024
You can appeal from a postjudgment order, but not to challenge the judgment

After entering a visitation order for great-grandparents, the court entered another order modifying it. The mother appealed from the modification. The court in Rodriguez v. Rodriguez (D5 Feb. 9, 2024 No. F086277) [nonpub. opn.] held that, yes, the modification was appealable, but the issues the mother was challenging were in the first order. And the […]

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February 13, 2024
So You Think You Understand the Snitch Rule?

Next time your opposing counsel takes issue with something you say, don’t be surprised to find a complaint in the next filing citing to rule 8.3 of the Rules of Professional Conduct—the new “snitch rule.” There are about a dozen terms of legal art in the snitch rule, so we asked Judge Meredith Jury (Ret.) […]

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February 12, 2024
Climate Change Trial Update: Jury awards $1 plus $1M punitives for hockey-stick criticism

A D.C. jury found climate scientist Michael Mann was not harmed by criticism that Penn State had whitewashed its investigation of his provocative “hockey stick” graph, which used proxy data such as tree rings to depict global temperatures holding steady for hundreds of years before spiking sharply in the 1800s. The jury awarded only $1 […]

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February 9, 2024
CEB has my article, “State wins a writ excusing it from disclosing whether its private research firm engaged in animal cruelty”

CEB DailyNews has published my article, “State wins a writ excusing it from disclosing whether its private research firm engaged in animal cruelty.” It is about how the Court of Appeal has recently issued two writs on discovery issues—which appellate courts typically loathe. There are two things in common between the discovery writ in Regents […]

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February 8, 2024
Attorney who ignored appellate rules hit with $50k in sanctions

Failing to request a statement of decision. Misunderstanding what “substantial evidence” means. Preparing an incomplete appellate record. Yes, these mistakes will lose you your appeal. But they can also get you sanctioned. The appellant’s counsel in Mandir, Inc. v. Tiwari (D4d3 Mar. 27, 2023 No. G060437) (nonpub. opn.) got sanctioned nearly $50,000 for pursuing a […]

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February 6, 2024
Kyle O’Malley, the Attorney Who Won the Raines’ Supreme Court Employee-Screening Case

Just a few years out of law school, Kyle O’Malley won a landmark case in the Supreme Court of California. The employer’s screening service in *Raines v. US Healthworks Medical Group*, 15 Cal.5th 268 (2023) used a generic questionnaire asking about menstrual cycles, hemorrhoids, hair loss, and all sorts of fool questions not tailored to […]

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February 5, 2024
Climate Change on Trial

Wealth, class, and high office don’t buy a lot of respect these days, but people listen if you’ve got some extra letters hung on the end of your name as scientists do. So climate scientist Michael E. Mann, Ph.D, sued for defamation when Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn called his “hockey stick” graph the product […]

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January 31, 2024
Splitting from SLAPP precedent, appellate court holds you don’t have to do a line-by-line list of allegations challenged in an anti-SLAPP motion

An anti-SLAPP motion is a species of motion to strike. So some authorities have held that this means California Rules of Court, rule 3.1322 applies, requiring that the challenged allegations be quoted chapter and verse. (Chop Won Park v. Nazari (D2d5 Jul. 25, 2023 No. B320483).) But District Three disagreed in the published portion of […]

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

— H.L. Mencken

"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.)

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

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

Leviticus

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