Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mileikowsky II (Cal. Ct. App. - April 18, 2005)

I previously discussed Justice Curry's opinion in Mileikowsky I, which was rendered several weeks ago. And a couple of days ago Justice Curry issued this opinion -- Mileikowsky II -- which concerns the same parties and a related (albeit distinct) dispute.

Both opinions are classic examples of a party repeatedly (and fatally) shooting himself in the foot. Plaintiff is so emotionally invested in his lawsuits that both of them get dismissed for manifest abuse. Mikeikowsky I gets dismissed for repeated failures to provide discovery, and Mileikowsky II gets dismissed based upon plaintiff's repeated misconduct during his hearing.

There were several influential amici who filed briefs on behalf of Mileikowsky in this case urging reversal. But I think that Justice Curry gets it right by affirming the dismissal. Plaintiff's conduct was sufficiently extreme that terminating sanctions were appropriate, and the Court of Appeals correctly decides the type of abuse at issue does authorize the hearing officer to terminate the proceeding. I feel a little bit sorry that plaintiff has hosed himself through his consistently irrational conduct. But that's gotta be the rule.

Anyway, the case is interesting if only for the recitation of the numerous improprieties of the plaintiff. I kept repeating to myself: "What was he possibly thinking?!" But the answer, of course, is that he wasn't. Which is apparently consistent with why he was disciplined in the first place: the opinion tellingly describes the basis for his discipline, which was founded upon (alleged) conduct that was utterly consistent with the type of irrationality that plaintiff demonstrated during his lawsuits -- plus no small amount of (alleged) medical malpractice to boot. So you feel sorry for Mileikowsky. But at the same time, you don't.

Interesting reading. Plaintiff certainly can't complain that he hasn't had his day(s) in court: Justice Curry's opinion in Mileikowsky I is 23 pages, and his opinion in Mileikowsky II is double that. And that's in addition to all the opinions below. Hardly a shoddy or half-baked effort on anyone's part.