Thursday, January 10, 2008

McGarry v. Sax (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 10, 2008)

The two published cases this afternoon both happen to involve pro per litigants in the California Court of Appeal. The first of whom was someone who was injured when some professional skateboarders threw out a free skateboard deck into a crowd of spectators. The second of whom was someone who was late for her plane flight from LAX to Vancouver, decided to make various references to "bombs" in connection with her luggage (which did not go well for her), and then sued United Airlines.

Both pro pers lose. The first, Daniel McGarry, is a nonlawyer (though apparently assisted by a lawyer, Linda Foster, on appeal) who made a variety of procedural mistakes in the Notice of Appeal and, in any event, lost on the merits with respect to the remaining defendant. Affirmed.

The second, Barbara Levin, is a former lawyer (and Indiana U. and Indiana Law graduate) who's been suspended (and hence not entitled to practice) since 1999, and was a former prosecutor in Illinois. And who could perhaps benefit from some anger management classes. (As an aside, I loved footnote 4 of the opinion, which reads: "The parties submitted expert psychiatric testimony explaining that plaintiff becomes sarcastic under stress.") Affirmed as well.

(P.S. - For what it's worth, if I were Ms. Levin, rather than have a published Court of Appeal opinion that described both my alleged activities at LAX, as well as my psychiatric and other history -- e.g., my personality disorders -- I've have accepted the jury's verdict and not filed an appeal. But that's just my thought.)

You're not going to win that many cases as a pro per. These two are not the exceptions to the rule.