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Tag: Jurisdiction

January 26, 2023
Summary Judgment Not Appealed, But Reversed Anyway

What happens when an unmovable object—here, a jurisdictional limit—meets an unstoppable force—here, the liberality doctrine? We find out in Magyar v. Kaiser Permanente Medical Center (D2d2 Jan. 23, 2023 No. B315353) 2023 WL 355173 (nonpub. opn.): the unmovable object gives way. And so the plaintiff, who lost on summary judgment and forgot to appeal the […]

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November 14, 2022
Attachment Not Available for Punitive Damages in Elder Abuse Claims

When a nonagenarian’s new 35-years-junior wife started liquidated his assets, his daughter, Lisa Royals, intervened. In her resulting lawsuit of Royals v. Lu (D1d4 Jul. 18, 2022) 81 Cal.App.5th 328., not only did Royals allege almost $1.1 million in financial elder abuse, she also sought a writ of attachment for three times that amount—apparently based […]

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October 18, 2022
Zoom Trials Are Not (Yet) the New Normal

Jeff and Tim discuss some recent cases to add to your attorney toolkit: For personal injury attorneys, a recent civil-criminal crossover case dealing with victims’ right to restitution warns: the right to restitution is not waived unless the criminal case is over or the DA signs off. (People v. Nonaka, (Sep. 30, 2022, 2d Crim. […]

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July 20, 2022
Courts Cannot Reconsider Final Orders—But What Is a “Final” Order?

On the topic of judgment enforcement, the new rule announced in Coastline JX Holdings LLC v. Bennett (D4d3 Jul. 7, 2022, No. G059552) --- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, 2022 WL 2527118 is that a judgment-debtor’s profit-sharing plan is exempt from levy under both ERISA and California law, because profit-sharing plans are non-assignable. And on the topic of […]

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June 23, 2022
Amendments to Judgment During Appeal Reversed for Violating Appellate Stay

The unusual thing about Kling v. Horn (D2d7 Jun. 8, 2022 no. B310164) 2022 WL 2062642 (nonpub. opn.) is that the party who won the judgment was the one raising a problem about it. Following an arbitration over an attorney fee dispute, the trial court entered a judgment of about $120,000 to the attorney. But […]

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May 13, 2022
Are the Courts Split on Untimely Appeals?

You have heard courts say that a timely notice of appeal is a prerequisite. As in, non-negotiable. As in, the court doesn’t even have jurisdiction to consider your appeal, so don’t even ask, ok? (E.g., Silverbrand v. Cty. of Los Angeles (2009) 46 Cal.4th 106, 113 [“[T]he filing of a timely notice of appeal is […]

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January 27, 2022
Another Untimely Appeal Excused in Dependency Case Based on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

In 2021, the California Supreme Court issued a surprising opinion. The Court held that an untimely appeal is not an absolute bar to appellate jurisdiction, at least in juvenile dependency cases. (In re A.R. (2021) 11 Cal.5th 234, discussed in Tim Kowal, “Untimely Appeal May Be Excused in Dependency Proceedings, Cal. Supreme Court Holds,” Apr. […]

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January 17, 2022
SLAPP Fees Might Be Avoided by Dismissing Complaint, Published Appellate Decision Holds

From the “did they really have to publish this?” files: You cannot avoid anti-SLAPP fees by dismissing the offending allegations. That is already settled law. But in Catlin Ins. Co. Inc. v. Danko Meredith Law Firm, Inc. (D1d4 Jan. 11, 2022 no. A160358) ___ Cal.Rptr.3d ___ 2022 WL 101840, the plaintiff dismissed its complaint after […]

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September 1, 2021
Trial Court May Not Reconsider Final Judgments, and the New Evidence, Even Though Compelling, Must Be Truly "New"

After a disappointing ruling, a motion for reconsideration is often tempting. It is much cheaper and faster than an appeal, and, who knows, maybe the judge really did just overlook a key fact and will correct it after taking a second look. But in the case of a final judgment having been entered, the trial […]

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April 8, 2021
Can You Waive or Stipulate to Standing Defects? Court of Appeal Says Yes

When a party lacks standing – a legal interest in a case – that is a jurisdictional defect. Jurisdictional defects are fatal, and cannot be waived, or stipulated to. But not in Silva v. Humboldt Cnty. (D1d1 Mar. 11, 2021) no. A160161. Humboldt County voters passed a tax measure on marijuana cultivators back in 2016. The measure […]

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"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

"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

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

Leviticus

"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

"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

“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

"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

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

— H.L. Mencken

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