Kowal Law Group Logo

Diverse Perspectives

| article | | Legal News | | podcast | | Videos |

Tag: Standards of Review

May 31, 2023
Despite a lack of witnesses, letter held to be a will as a matter of law

A will must be signed by two witnesses. The decedent didn’t do that in Coronado v. Berger (D2d2 May 25, 2023 No. B321347) --- Cal.Rptr. 3d --- (2023 WL 3675787). But there is an exception if the petitioner proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the decedent intended the document as a will. And here, […]

Read More
April 20, 2023
When a case turns on credibility, and there is not an oral record, do not even think about appealing

After dissolving her marriage and entering a marital settlement agreement, Darya Khankin went through some old boxes and found over a million dollars in undisclosed funds she claimed were taken by her ex, Anatoly Dumov. So she moved to set aside the dissolution judgment, noting that under Family Code section 2103, failure to comply with […]

Read More
January 25, 2023
There Is No Such Thing As a “Corporate Representative” or “Person Most Qualified” Witness

A trial court relied on a hearsay declaration when it granted summary judgment to Avon in this talcum-powder case alleging asbestos-exposure. There is a growing consensus that trial court rulings on evidence are reviewed under the more lenient abuse-of-discretion standard, even on summary judgment. And Ramirez v. Avon Products, Inc. (D2d8 Jan. 23. 2023 no. […]

Read More
December 13, 2022
New Cases on MSJ Evidence Rulings and Elder Abuse Attachment Orders

Evidentiary rulings on MSJ are reviewed under the same deferential standard as given evidentiary rulings at trial—i.e., for abuse of discretion—but the Supreme Court cracked the door open on the possibility of de novo review in its 2010 Reid v. Google decision. Those hopeful for more the rigorous standard will be disappointed by a new […]

Read More
October 26, 2021
In a Rare Illustration of the Finding-Compelled-as-a-Matter-of-Law Standard of Review, Appellate Court Reverses a Defense Judgment

Trial attorneys are familiar with the three common standards of appellate review: substantial evidence, abuse of discretion, and de novo. But what standard of review applies when an unsuccessful plaintiff appeals? When the plaintiff is arguing that the trial court should have found its evidence more persuasive, a fourth standard of review applies, something like […]

Read More
September 23, 2021
Ruling Excluding Expert Testimony on MSJ Reversed on Appeal

There are two noteworthy things about the published opinion in Strobel v. Johnson & Johnson (D1d4 Sept. 21, 2021) 2021 WL 4272711 no. A159609. First, it suggests how litigants might avoided the dreaded Sanchez rule that prevents experts from offering "case-specific hearsay" in their opinions. Second, it suggests some evidentiary rulings may be reviewed under the appellant-friendly de novo […]

Read More
April 26, 2021
Punitive Damages Are Reviewed De Novo; and Effective Use of Dicta

The recent case of Rubio v. CIA Wheel Group (D2d8 Apr. 15, 2021) no. B300021, reminds that awards of punitive damages are reviewed independently by the appellate courts. Rubio also provides a nice illustration how dicta – observations made by prior courts that are not part of their holdings – may be used effectively. In Rubio, an employee claimed she […]

Read More
December 31, 2020
Two Recent Appeals Rejected for Easily-Avoided Procedural Errors

Two recent unpublished cases remind that appeals are lost for failing to designate a sufficient appellate record, and, when challenging findings as lacking substantial evidence in support, for citing only evidence supporting reversal rather than supplying the evidence to support the judgment. In the real estate nondisclosure case in Newstart Real Estate Inv. v. Huang (D2d8 Dec. […]

Read More
December 29, 2020
Trial Court Abused Discretion by Awarding Contractual Fees to Defendant Who Lost on the Only Contract Claim

In this commercial lease dispute, the trial court abused its discretion in not one, not two, but three different ways when it awarded contractual fees to the losing defendant. In Waterwood Enterprises, LLC v. City of Long Beach (D2d1 Dec. 18, 2020) No. B296830, landlord claimed the city was liable for substantial repairs to a property that […]

Read More
November 13, 2020
Failing to Exercise Discretion Is an Abuse of Discretion

Many orders present an uphill climb because the appellate courts review them under the very deferential abuse-of-discretion standard, which means the order is likely within the trial court's wide latitude. In my appellate practice, however, I have seen a number of discretionary orders -- a small number, but a significant number -- that may be […]

Read More

Tags

Abuse of Discretion (24)
ADA and Unruh Accessibility Actions (2)
Administrative Law (1)
Admission of Improper Evidence (10)
Alter Ego (2)
Amicus Briefs (3)
Anecdotes (1)
Anti-SLAPP (38)
Appealability (8)
Appealability and Appealable Orders (45)
Appealable Orders (4)
Appeals Dismissed (2)
Appeals Treated as Writs (4)
Appellate Bonds (8)
Appellate Briefing (11)
Appellate Practice (8)
Appellate Sanctions (15)
Arbitration (31)
Art of Persuasion (1)
Attorney Client Privilege (2)
Attorney Fees (22)
Attorney Fees - CCP 1021.5 (1)
Attorney Feese (1)
Attorney Misconduct (1)
Bankruptcy (1)
Benefits Obtained Trespass Damages (1)
Briefing (18)
California Supreme Court (23)
CCP 998 Offers (12)
Civil Code 3334 (1)
Civil Theft (2)
Civility (18)
Class Actions (4)
Clear and Convincing (2)
Clerks Service of File Stamped Judgment (1)
Closing Argument (1)
Collateral Orders (16)
Comments (2)
Common Interest Doctrine (1)
Consenting to Judgments (1)
Constitutional Law (4)
Constitutional Litigation (1)
Contempt (3)
Court Reporters (2)
Covid (1)
Cross-Appeals (1)
Defamation (1)
Default Judgments (7)
Demurrers (5)
Depublished Opinions (7)
Designating the Record (1)
Dicta (1)
Discovery (9)
Disentitlement Doctrine (7)
Dismissals (15)
DismissalsAppealability and Appealable Orders (1)
Dismissed Appeals (12)
Disqualification (8)
Dissents (16)
Employment Law (4)
En Banc (1)
En Banc Review (4)
Erie Problems (1)
Ethical Duty of Candor (7)
Evidentiary Objections (14)
Evidentiary Presumptions (1)
Excessive Damages (5)
Exclusion of Evidence (14)
Exhaustion of Remedies (1)
Expert Opinions (4)
Experts (12)
Family Court (1)
Family Law (11)
Federal Appeals (20)
Federal Courts (23)
Finality and Final Orders (2)
Finding Compelled as a Matter of Law (Failure of Proof) Standard of Review (9)
first amendment (3)
Forfeiture (2)
Forfeiture and Waiver (3)
Free Exercise (1)
Free Speech (1)
Frivolous Appeals (3)
Frivolous Motions (4)
Harmless Error (3)
Implied Findings (10)
Inconsistent Verdicts (1)
Incorrect Decisions (1)
Inherent Authority (1)
Invited Error (2)
Issue Selection on Appeal (1)
Judgment Enforcement (20)
Judicial Admissions (2)
Judicial Bias (4)
Judicial Estoppel (1)
Judicial Immunity (1)
Judicial Misconduct (2)
Judicial Notice (1)
Judicial Philosophy (1)
Jurisdiction (12)
Juror Misconduct (1)
Juror Peremptory Challenges (3)
Jury Instructions (4)
Jury Waivers (3)
Landlord Tenant (3)
Law and Motion (3)
Law of the Case (1)
Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (6)
Legal Practice (3)
Legal Tech (4)
Legal Writing (30)
Litigation Tips (6)
Local Rules (1)
Mediation (6)
Medical Rights (2)
Memorandum Opinions (1)
Mischief (28)
Mistrials (2)
Moot Appeals (1)
Mootness (13)
Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings (1)
Motions for Reconsideration (11)
Motions in Limine (5)
Motions to Dismiss (4)
Motions to Quash (1)
Motions to Vacate (4)
Motions to Vacate and Set Aside Judgments (7)
New Arguments (1)
New Trial (2)
New Trial Motions (12)
Ninth Circuit (8)
Ninth CircuitAbuse of Discretion (1)
Nonsuit (1)
Nonsuits JNOVs and 631.8 Judgments (1)
Notice of Appeal (1)
Notices of Appeal (22)
Notices of Entry (5)
Oral Argument (28)
Out-of-State Litigant (1)
PAGA Actions (3)
PAGA Attorney Fees (1)
Per Se Errors (2)
Personal Jurisdiction (6)
Persuasion (2)
Petitions for Rehearing (2)
Petitions for Review (6)
Pleadings (2)
Post Reversal (1)
Post Reversal Issues (2)
Post-Appellate Issues (1)
PostJudgment Litigation (1)
Posttrial Motions (12)
Precedent (1)
Preclusion (1)
Prejudicial Error (5)
Preliminary Injunctions (14)
Premature Appeals (2)
Premises Liability (1)
Pretrial Issues (3)
Pretrial Procedure (7)
print (29)
Probate Appeals (8)
Product Liability (1)
Property Rights (1)
Public Records Act and FOIA Requests (1)
Punitive Damages (1)
Race and the law (1)
Record (1)
Record Designation (3)
Record on Appeal (25)
Recovery of Costs (4)
Referral Fees (1)
Remote Arguments (2)
Respondent Arguments (9)
Restraining Orders (4)
Review as Writ Petition (1)
Right to Jury Trial (5)
Sanctions (16)
Settled Statements (2)
Settlements (10)
Split Decisions (1)
Split of Authority (1)
Splits of Authority (25)
Standards of Evidence (3)
Standards of Review (10)
Standing (5)
Stare Decisis (3)
State Civil Procedure Comparison Project (2)
Statements of Decision (29)
Stays (3)
Stays on Appeal (23)
Stipulated Judgments (7)
Stipulated Reversals (5)
Substantial Evidence (7)
Summary Judgment (3)
Summary Judgments (5)
Summary Judgments and Summary Adjudications (14)
Summary Reversal (1)
Summary Reversals (1)
Support Awards (1)
Tentative Opinions and Focus Letters (7)
Tentative Rulings (4)
the court noted (0)
Third Parties and Nonparties (1)
Timeliness (12)
Timely and Untimely Appeals (22)
Trade Restraints (1)
trademark (1)
Treble Damages (1)
Trespass (1)
Trial by Reference and Pro Tem Judges (2)
Trial Irregularities and Structural Errors (8)
Trial Procedure (11)
Trial Strategy (17)
Trial Tips (1)
Trust and Probate (6)
Typeface (1)
Typography (1)
U.S. Supreme Court (3)
Unpublished Opinions (22)
Unsupported Arguments (1)
Untimeliness (2)
Void and Voidable Judgments (2)
Waived and Forfeiture (2)
Waiver (2)
Waiver and Forfeiture (25)
Writ Petitions (15)
Writs of Mandamus (1)
Writs of Mandamus (CCP 1085) (3)

"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

"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

"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

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

— H.L. Mencken

"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

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

Leviticus

"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

"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.)

menuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram