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Tag: Civility

January 26, 2024
CEB has my article, “Restraining Order Against an Attorney Must Be Based on Multiple Instances of Non-Litigation Conduct”

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 […]

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November 22, 2023
Race, gender, and Jewish conspiracies get attorney sanctioned $10,000

Getting sanctioned only $10,000 was a very lenient outcome for the appellant’s abhorrent—and inexplicable—behavior in Schwartzman v. S. Coast Tax Resolution, Inc. (D2d2 Nov. 17, 2023 No. B314770) [nonpub. opn.]. While ending in a tirade against the trial judge, the appellate justices, and the whole judicial system, the case started off pretty boring. Schwartzman filed […]

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November 6, 2023
“Bulldozer” advocacy moves dirt but not minds

“A bulldozer can move piles of dirt from one place to another,” begins the opinion in Tedesco v. White (D4d3 Oct. 27, 2023 No. G061197) [nonpub. opn.]. “But when the goal is to move minds rather than dirt, employing a bulldozer may be counterproductive. The bulldozer in this case is [appellant’s] counsel.” The aggressive tactics […]

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October 12, 2023
Restraining order against an attorney must be based on multiple instances of non-litigation conduct

A restraining order is available under Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6 if you have suffered harassment through a “knowing and willful course of conduct” resulting in harassment. And what type of people are more likely to cause a feeling of harassment more than lawyers? So attorney Jacquelynn Hansen got a restraining order against her […]

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October 10, 2023
The 9th Cir. “Reimagines” Diversity Jurisdiction

The one sure thing your law-school loans purchased is instant recall of the fact that “federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” But not as limited today as when you signed your promissory note. We discuss Impossible Foods Inc. v. Impossible X LLC, the recent 9th Circuit decision holding that specific jurisdiction over a defendant […]

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October 9, 2023
Uncivil attorneys get a 40% fee haircut

After a former employee won a claim against the employer in Snoeck v. ExakTime Innovations, Inc., (D2d3 Oct. 2, 2023) No. B321566 (nonpub. opn.), the court granted the motion for attorneys’ fees. The court agreed that the value of counsel’s efforts would have been over $1.1 million. Would have been. But then the court applied […]

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January 10, 2023
The Best Advocacy Tips of 2022

In this roundup episode, we summarize the best tips for briefing, argument, and overall advocacy from the judges, attorneys, and specialists Jeff Lewis and I interviewed on the California Appellate Law Podcast in 2022. Some of the tips and trends we cover: There is a trend toward informality in legal writing—but do pop-culture references go […]

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December 30, 2022
Counsel Admonished for Uncivil Accusations in Appellate Briefs

Judges just don’t get your arguments sometimes, it seems, and that can be really frustrating. But don’t lose your cool. The Court of Appeal in  Shah v. Fidelity Nat’l Title Ins. Co. (D1d1 Dec. 27, 2022) 2022 WL 17959563 (nonpub. opn.) admonished counsel for impugning the trial court and opposing counsel in the appellate briefs. […]

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September 20, 2022
“They Don’t Laugh at My Jokes Anymore.” Justice Lambden’s Lessons from the Trenches to the Benches and Back

As a consensus-maker, Justice James Lambden never published a dissent in his 17 years on the Court of Appeal for the First District, despite sitting between two indomitable personalities in Justice J. Anthony Kline (Gov. Jerry Brown’s legal affairs secretary) and Justice Paul Hearle (Gov. Ronald Reagan’s appointments secretary). Justice Lambden explains why attorneys should […]

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May 27, 2022
Greedy fee motions may be denied in their entirety

Even when a prevailing party is entitled to recover attorney fees, the court may deny fees in extraordinary circumstances. The authors of the California Attorneys Fees Blog, William (Mike) Hensley and Marc Alexander, talk about a few of the cases where excessive and unreasonable fee requests have been denied in their entirety. Also, do not call the trial […]

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

— H.L. Mencken

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

Leviticus

"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

"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

"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 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

"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

"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.)

"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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