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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 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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January 29, 2024
Racial Justice Act motion requires case-specific facts, not mere statistical analysis

Russell Lynwood Austin murdered his pregnant ex-girlfriend in her apartment with her two-year-old present. Austin slit her throat so violently that he nearly decapitated her. Austin then fled, leaving her bloody body, and her dying fetus, with the naked two-year-old child. The D.A. charged Austin with double-homicide and sought the death penalty. But Austin is […]

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January 16, 2024
Cal’s initial disclosures, minimum discovery sanctions, & some ¯\(ツ)/¯ cases

California law now provides for initial discovery disclosures. Get a template handy for your upcoming cases. And watch out for the new minimum $1,000 sanction for discovery misconduct. And some recent cases: Appellate Specialist Jeff Lewis' biography, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed. Appellate Specialist Tim Kowal's biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and YouTube page. Sign […]

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January 15, 2024
In San Fran homelessness case in 9th Cir., two stark opinions about waiver

San Francisco—responding to a surge in homelessness—enacted time-and-place anti-vagrancy ordinances restricting sleeping in public places. But the district court enjoined the laws, and in Coal. On Homelessness v. City of San Francisco, No. 23-15087 (9th Cir. 2024), the 9th Circuit affirmed. Following two recent 9th Circuit cases, the court held that the city violated the […]

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January 11, 2024
Justice Baker is not a big fan of Costco

Costco charged a shopper with theft for putting a $117 package of Gillette razors underneath a big bag of dog food. The shopper sued for malicious prosecution, but the trial court granted Cosco’s anti-SLAPP, and the panel majority in Gylfie v. Costco Wholesale Corp. (D2d5 Dec. 27, 2023 No. B320694 [nonpub. opn.] affirmed. Making a […]

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January 3, 2024
2023’s Best Guests, Cases & Tech

Looking back on the year’s 50 episodes, we discuss some of our best guests, including our 9th Circuit correspondent, Cory Webster, our legal-writing correspondent, Ryan McCarl, our legal-movie correspondent, Gary Wax, and our inspirational public-interest appellate lawyers Chris Schandevel and Carl Cecere. There’s our legal-citation-parenthetical maverick Jack Metzler. And then there are our legal scholars […]

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"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

“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

"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

"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

"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.)

"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

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

— H.L. Mencken

"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

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