Monday, January 23, 2017

Yagman v. Garcetti (9th Cir. - Jan. 20, 2017)

This is a fine example of why many people hate lawyers.  Because here, an attorney gets a parking ticket and literally makes a federal case out of it.

It's not actually an absurd claim.  Notorious (former) L.A. attorney Stephen Yagman gets a parking ticket and claims that having to pay the ticket before California's second-level hearing appeal process concludes violates the Due Process Clause.  I agree with the panel that that's wrong, and that here, the relevant procedures satisfy the applicable balancing test.  But there's definitely a non-frivolous argument to the contrary.  The underlying fact pattern could easily be a law school hypothetical on a final exam, and there'd be decent arguments on both sides.

Part of Mr. Yagman's complaint, admittedly, is silly and/or clearly deficient.  Take, for example, the RICO claims.  The factual predicates of which are articulated exclusively in the following sentence: "The bad acts described in the matters enumerated herein above . . . evidence civil RICO predicates, including at least fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, extortion, and civil rights violations.”

Yeah, that's not sufficient.  Not even close.

Mr. Yagman was able to get out of some of his parking tickets.  But his federal suit falls flat.