Monday, May 02, 2016

Osborne v. Todd Farm Service (Cal. Ct. App. - May 2, 2016)

One of the downsides of having the trial attorney serve as the attorney on appeal is that the trial attorney may not have a neutral perspective about the case.  There are definitely upsides, to be sure; efficiency, superior knowledge of the record, etc.  But downsides abound as well.

Especially when, as here, the appeal concerns whether the lawsuit was properly dismissed based on the misconduct of trial counsel.

Appellant's counsel is Glen Murphy, and the trial court repeatedly admonished counsel for plaintiff -- "Mr. Murphy" -- not to mention certain matters governed by a motion in limine.  When Mr. Murphy nonetheless repeatedly did so, the trial court dismissed the lawsuit.  With prejudice.

The Court of Appeal affirms.

The old aphorism is that an attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.  One might on occasion perhaps say analogous things about counsel on appeal.

Sometimes a neutral, outside perspective is worth it.