Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dec. 2 -- You gonna go Federal or State?

Ok, SoCal Appellate Fanatics, what are you gonna do the evening of December 2?

FBA-LA is throwing a Tribute to Chief Judge Kozinski at the Chambers Courthouse in Pasadena. Flyer here.

But the Italian American Lawyers Association's Supreme Court Night is that same evening at the Casa Italiana. Flyer here.

Yes, sometimes you CAN be two places at once...

Of course Dec. 3 is easy: That's the LACBA Appellate Courts Section Holiday reception...

iPads at the Lectern!

Effective November 1, 2014 the Fourth District  implemented the following electronic devices policy (which the 5th District has had all this year):
Uniform Policy on Public Use of Electronic Devices in Court of Appeal Court Rooms
Laptop computers and electronic tablets may be used in the court room but must be silenced and placed in “airplane mode” at all times. Such devices may be used by counsel or self-represented litigants only as an aid in presenting oral argument and cannot be used to display demonstrative evidence to the court or for any other purpose. Cellular telephones and other electronic devices are not permitted in the court room. No audio or video recording or photography is permitted in the court room except in compliance with California Rules of Court, Rule 1.150. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the violator being removed from the court room.

The 2d DCA is announced it will adopt this same policy starting January 5, 2015.

5th DCA to follow the 1st in using TrueFiling


Starting in 2015, all attorneys submitting documents for filing in any appeal or original proceeding with the 5th DCA must file electronically through an electronic filing system, known as TrueFiling, developed in partnership with the vendor ImageSoft, Inc. See Local Rule 8. The e-Filing system will allow electronic transmission of documents to the court on a 24 hour basis. 
e-Filing will be mandatory first in all civil appeals and original proceedings, with a planned commencement date of January 13, 2015. Approximately 30 days later, e-Filing will be mandatory for all criminal and juvenile appeals and original proceedings. Everyone is urged to periodically check the court’s website for updates. e-Filing through the TrueFiling system will be required for all attorneys, unless an exemption is granted. Self-represented parties are encouraged, but are not required to, register for electronic filing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Can a summary judgment order also be a dismissal order?

This one's for YOU appellate nerds!
Yes, we know that an order granting summary judgment is not an appealable order. But what if that order also includes a dismissal? We also all know that under CCP 581d, a dismissal order IS a judgment. So what's the ruling? Appealable or not?
Your answer is finally here, in this unpub from 1/1: Tianen-Bennett v. Superior Court.

(Note, that we're NOT talking about CCP 581 "subdivision (d)," but "581d," a different statute with a weird name. If the opinion gets published -- and won't some appellate-minded fanatic demand that? -- then the decision better be proofed carefully!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


  • PJ Gilbert to be honored at the Fifth Annual Beverly Hills Bar Association Litigation Awards Dinner (Feb. 18, 2015). Details here.
  • National Law Journal 2014 Appellate Hot List
  • The California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law and the Hastings Law Journal announce a joint project, a blog focused on providing substantive coverage of issues concerning the Supreme Court of California:
  • Conservatorship of Townsend (2/3): "Submission of motion to vacate judgment to temporary judge appointed under Article VI, Sec. 21 of the California Constitution was not equivalent to filing the motion with the superior court clerk and therefore did not toll time in which to appeal the judgment." (quoting MetNews blurb; see also MetNews article: Court Warns on Submitting Motions to Private Judges: Appeal Dismissed Because Litigant Did Not File With Clerk.)
  • "The rules governing posttrial motions involve drawing bright lines marking the point when the trial court’s jurisdiction over a case ends and the jurisdiction of the appellate court begins. We caution the bar that stipulating to a temporary judge does not relieve the parties from complying with statutes that affect our jurisdiction. Because the time to appeal was not extended, this appeal is untimely." (slip op. at 3.)
  • Gwartz v. Weilert (5th Dist.): "Where plaintiffs identified 47 different transfers of money by defendants that violated the trial court’s orders made during proceedings to enforce judgment, and defendants did not deny that the transfers took place, the balance of the equitable considerations relevant to the disentitlement doctrine favored dismissal of defendants’ appeal from the underlying judgment." (quoting MetNews blurb)(See also in the MetNews: C.A. Dismisses Appeal in Suit Over Fraud in Sale of Ranch Panel Invokes Disentitlement Doctrine After Defendant Shifts Assets)
  • Professor Eugene Volokh at UCLA has set up a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic that might be a great resource. Got a free speech case (or religious freedom or church-state cases) in which you’d like a supporting amicus brief? Check out the details at the clinic’s website.
  • Post Trial Motions in California MCLE program (in SF on 1/29/15): info here.
  • "DIGging" around also reveals that Monday's DJ featured MC Sungaila's article Improvidently Granted Cases and the Rise of the Amicus Brief.

Friday, November 14, 2014

LASC Rule on Courtesy in Briefing

Here's an LASC rule you've probably never seen:
Be Excellent to Each Other"The language used in any brief or document filed in this court must be courteous, and free from insulting criticism of any person, individually or officially, or of any class or association of persons, or of any court of justice, or other institution. Any violation of this rule shall subject the author or authors of the brief or document to the humiliation of having the brief or document returned, and to punishment for contempt of the authority of the court." (LASC Rule VII.7.Briefs)
Isn't that classic? Be "courteous" or be 'humiliated'!
Why haven't you seen this rule before? Because "LASC" in this context is the Louisiana Supreme Court.
In California we don't need such a rule because we are already excellent unto each other, right?

Rambo litigation tactics are so 80's...

I sing of new appellate rules

H&L's John Taylor presents another lyrically annotated ditty on the changes effective January 1, 2015 affecting California appellate practice you need to know about in A Music Fan's Guide To new California Appeals Rules at Law360.

Links to the actual text of the rule changes (and others) can be found here. The statutory changes are located here. But you'll enjoy John's article A LOT more...

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