Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ooops! Notice of Appeal Error

Appeals 101: The notice of Appeal must indicate who is appealing.
Appeals 102: Sanctions orders against attorneys are appealable by the attorneys.
Consequences for missing these lessons: here (key highlights below).

Appellants Kamran Azizi and Hediyeh Shoar Azizi (Defendants) appealed from an order that imposed monetary sanctions on their attorney. Because Defendants were not aggrieved by the order and the aggrieved attorneys did not appeal the order, we dismiss
the appeal.
Otto and Lindstrom argue that we should liberally construe the notice of appeal to include them as appellants. They note that they identified themselves as “appellants” in applications to extend time to file their opening brief and in their opening brief; they cite Otto’s poor health as an explanation for his error in omitting the attorneys’ names from the notice of appeal; and they argue MTO has not been prejudiced by the error. They cite cases that hold generally that public policy favors deciding appeals on their merits and that notices of appeal should be liberally construed. (See also Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.100(a)(2).) However, none of the cases holds that a notice of appeal can be “liberally construed” to include an unnamed appellant, much less than an unnamed appellant who is a trained attorney and who filed the notice of appeal himself (or whose associate in law filed the notice).