Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day v. Collingwood (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 16, 2006)

I hate to say it. 'Cause I'm a loyal, institution-type guy. But Justice Aaron is right in this case. Motions for sanctions under CCP 128.7 can indeed be brought post-judgment. Judge Strauss (down here in San Diego) was wrong in holding that he lacked jurisdiction to consider such requests. Which means that the motion for sanctions against attorney Darren J. Quinn -- a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law -- should have properly been considered, and will be considered on remand.

Mind you, I'm not too too worried about our alum, Mr. Quinn, because Justice Aaron goes out of her way to note that motions for sanctions should ordinarily be brought before or soon after a judgment, and that delay in bringing such a motion -- here, the motion was filed over four months after a final judgment was entered --can (and should) be considered in assessing the merits of the motion. So I don't feel especially disloyal.

Regardless, Justice Aaron is correct. So go ahead and file those postjudgment sanctions motions -- so long as you served the motion prejudgment and complied with the safe harbor rule -- to your heart's content. Just do so quickly if you want to win 'em.

P.S. - Full Disclosure: Upon further review, my disloyalty concern appears unfounded. Or maybe even 100% off. Because while I was focusing my attention (not surprisingly) on the attorney against whom the sanctions were sought, I briefly ignored the identity of the counsel who was seeking them. Who is (at least according to the list of counsel on appeal) is T. Hall Brehme. Who not only is also a graduate of the esteemed University of San Diego School of Law, but who is also a former student of mine. (And who, if I recall correctly, did quite a good job in my Professional Responsibility class.)

I'm always happy to see my former students on the sanctioning side of the equation rather than on the sanctioned side!