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Tag: Writ Petitions

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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January 2, 2024
State wins a writ excusing it from disclosing whether its private research firm engaged in animal cruelty

Just a couple months ago, when the Court of Appeal issued a rare writ on a discovery issue, I noted that this was unusual because appellate courts generally loathe discovery disputes. But here comes the court with another discovery writ. There are two things in common between that earlier case and the more recent case […]

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March 20, 2023
In light of split on appealability of orders on motions for good faith settlement, this appeal is dismissed as untimely

While the California Supreme Court is still reviewing the question whether a writ of mandate is the sole method of reviewing an order on a motion for good faith settlement (Code Civ. Proc., 877.6, subd. (e); In re Pacific Fertility Cases (2022) 78 Cal.App.5th 568, review granted August 17, 2022, S275134), a defendant appealed the […]

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March 8, 2023
HOA May Go Forward with Representative Action for Construction Defects

Can you appeal an order sustaining a demurrer as to less than all causes of action? No—if there is still a cause of action hanging around, the order does not satisfy the one-final-judgment rule. But if the order sustaining the demurrer would result in a “needless and expensive trial and reversal,” then the order may […]

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February 24, 2023
"Is it going to matter?” Justice Zelon’s big criteria on writ petitions

“I know the sting of a loss as well as anyone,” says Justice Laurie Zelon, but if the course of the case is really not going to change, writ relief is highly unlikely. If the issue is going to be dispositive of the case so that the case would have to be retried, however, that […]

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January 6, 2023
A Timely MSJ Is Entitled to a Timely Hearing, Appellate Court Holds

Ever file a motion only for the clerk to give you a hearing date after trial. Lot of good that does. That happened to the defendant in Cole v. Superior Court, No. D081299 (D4d1 Dec. 30, 2022). So he filed an ex parte to get a timely hearing or continue the trial. But the trial […]

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November 11, 2022
Writ Petitions Are Won or Lost in the First Paragraph

When you have a legal emergency and you need the Court of Appeal to act right away, you need writ relief. But less than 10% of writ petitions are granted. So how do you get the court’s attention? Justice David Thompson spent more time on his court’s writ panel over the last decade than anyone, […]

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October 11, 2022
“You Know It When You See It”: Justice Thompson (Ret.) on Writ Relief and Judicial Philosophy

Before Justice David Thompson left the bench in 2021 to become a private neutral, his colleague Justice Bedsworth called him “hard-headed.” And compassionate. But hard-headed? Justice Thompsons explains what Justice Bedsworth probably meant by that: “I say what I mean,” and tends to be direct—particularly at oral argument. Justice Thompson discusses his more stringent judicial […]

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May 12, 2022
Why Family Law Writ Petitions Are So Hard

We asked Victoria Fuller, a certified appellate specialist focusing on family law, about getting the appellate court’s attention in family law writ petitions. Showing extraordinary harm in money cases is a tough sell, but it should work in family cases, right? Victoria explains that it is just just very hard, even when there is genuine irreparable […]

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December 14, 2021
Winning an Appeal: Our Interview with Author and Attorney Myron Moskovitz

Appellate attorney and author Myron Moskovitz joins Jeff Lewis and me on episode 20 of the California Appellate Law Podcast. Myron has been practicing appellate law since the '60s, and has curated an impressive collection of effective strategies to win appeals. Some of the topics we discuss include: Why appellate courts should provide brief explanations […]

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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

"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

"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

“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

"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.)

"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 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

"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

"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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