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Tag: Tentative Opinions and Focus Letters

December 6, 2023
High-Profile Employment Appeals with Glenn Danas

Employment and class-action attorney Glenn Danas has argued 49 appeals in state and federal appellate courts throughout the country, including a current streak of eight consecutive reversals. Glenn talks with us about litigating the landmark Iskanian case, and how he turned the panel that initially issued a 148-page tentative against his client. Glenn also shares: […]

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September 15, 2023
What does it mean when the appellate court orders counsel to discuss certain authorities at oral argument?

Sometimes in the weeks prior to an appellate oral argument, the court will order the parties to be prepared to discuss certain issues or cases. Sometimes this is called a focus letter or a pre-argument order. They are pretty common in the Ninth Circuit. But a dissent to a pre-argument order is less common. In […]

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September 13, 2023
Appeal Your Arbitrator?

We discuss some interesting recent cases out of the California Court of Appeal: Then we discuss the “Eisenberg rule,” and a survey that explains why lawyers still use legalese. Appellate Specialist Jeff Lewis' biography, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed. Appellate Specialist Tim Kowal's biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and YouTube page. Sign up for Not […]

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September 6, 2023
If the appellate court issues a tentative opinion, do this.

I have yet to meet an attorney who would not welcome the appellate court providing a tentative opinion prior to oral argument. All upside, no downside, right? There was a downside in Navellier v. Putnam (D1d5 Aug. 17, 2023) No. A166476 (reh’g denied with mods Aug. 30, 2023) (nonpub. opn.). The plaintiffs’ case was dismissed […]

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June 20, 2023
Court allows losing party to dismiss appeal after unfavorable tentative

After the record is filed on appeal, you no longer have an absolute right to dismiss the appeal. So if you decide that the the appeal is not worth the risk of attorneys’ fees or bad precedent, you have to request a dismissal. And last month, the Court of Appeal cautioned that if you wait […]

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May 25, 2023
Court refuses to dismiss appeal to avoid unfavorable precedent

Before oral argument in the cannabis-cultivator eviction case of 65283 Two Bunch Palms Building LLC v. Coastal Harvest II, LLC (D4d2 May 5, 2023 No. E076654) --- Cal.Rptr.3d --- (2023) 2023 WL 3268852, the court issued a tentative opinion—partially certified for publication—against the tenant Coastal Harvest. Rather than have to face this unfavorable precedent in […]

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December 21, 2022
Quality and Value of Oral Argument Would Be Enhanced” by Focus Letters or Tentative Opinions, Says Justice Thompson

Trial judges issue tentative decisions, why don’t appellate justices? Justice Thompson draws from his positive experience as a trial judge enjoying improved oral arguments after issuing tentative decisions, and suggests that the Court of Appeal might enjoy the same improvement. But we might have to wait for a “changing of the guard” as younger justices […]

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

— H.L. Mencken

“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

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

"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

"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

"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

"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.)

"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

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