Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Appellate Divisions Must Explain Decisions

That's the headline in today's MetNews about People v. Guerra. The article begins:

There is no conflict between Code of Civil Procedure §77(d), which requires that superior court appellate divisions provide a short explanation in writing of its decision, and California Rules of Court rule 8.887(a) which says that those courts don’t have to issue written opinions, the Fifth District Court of Appeal declared yesterday.

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“In our view,” Justice Stephen J. Kane wrote, “a ‘written opinion,’” which the rule says appellate division judges need not prepare, “generally connotes something more than ‘a brief statement of the reasons for the judgment,’” which the code section does require, as of Jan. 1, 2015.

And this decision here is an example of how you can't stack sanctions awards to add up to an appealable order: "In a civil case, a party can appeal a monetary sanction prior to the final judgment, but only if the amount exceeds $5,000. (Code Civ. Proc., § 904.1, subd. (a)(12).) Here, the trial court ordered one of the parties to pay three individual discovery sanctions. They have appealed from that order. The total amount of the sanctions was $7,335, but none of the individual sanctions exceeded the $5,000 threshold. Thus, we must dismiss this interlocutory appeal for want of jurisdiction."

Supreme Court Makes Appointments to Committee on Judicial Ethics OpinionsJustice Judith Haller (4/1) and Judge Michael Garcia reappointed; LASC Judge Samantha Jessner appointed. Other justices on the CJEO include Justices Robie (3d), Miller (4/2), and Rivera (1/4),