Thursday, August 5, 2010


The California Supreme Court just decided Reid v. Google.  On page 23, footnote 8, are the words some lawyers have waited years to read:

"We disapprove Biljac Associates v. First Interstate Bank, supra, 218 Cal.App.3d 1410, 1419, 1424, to the extent it permits the trial court to avoid ruling on specific evidentiary objections."

This is now the law on summary judgment objections:

"[W]ritten evidentiary objections made before the hearing, as well as oral objections made at the hearing are deemed made 'at the hearing' . . . so that either method of objection avoids waiver.  The trial court must rule expressly on those objections.  [Citation.]  If the trial court fails to rule, the objections are preserved on appeal."

And what of lawyers who swamp the court with wave upon wave of objections?

"[W]e encourage parties to raise only meritorious objections to items of evidence that are legitimately in dispute and pertinent to the disposition of the summary judgment motion.  In other words, litigants should focus on the objections that really count.  Otherwise, they may face informal reprimands or formal sanctions for engaging in abusive practice."

Upshot:  Lawyers no longer must cajole a court invoking Biljac into ruling on SJ objections.  But they now face sanctions for piling on baseless SJ objections.