Tuesday, June 12, 2018

People v. Killion (Cal. Ct. App. - June 11, 2018)

Sometimes signalling your willingness to be reversed helps the Court of Appeal.  If only because it assists them in writing an incredibly short opinion.  For example, here, the appellate opinion is only seven double-spaced pages long.  The majority of which merely recites the facts and history of the case:  the reasoning itself entails a mere three pages of text.

What the trial court says below is exactly what you're looking for if you're on the losing end of its decision.  For example:

"I would not take any offense if you choose to seek some review and get some guidance from the [Fourth District Court of Appeal] so that we can have a case that specifically states one way or the other."

Or, when talking to the defendant:

“I want you to know . . . losing this motion has nothing to do with how I think you’ve done on probation. I think you have done an exemplary job on probation. You’ve done everything that you promised the Court that you would do. If I did have the discretion, this is something that I would strongly consider doing for you, but I don’t believe that I have the legal ability to do it.”

Or, when talking to her attorney:

“If [defense counsel] proves to me that I’m doing it wrong by getting the judges down the street to tell me I’m wrong, again, I’ll be happy to reconsider it.”

You gotta love it when a trial judge tries his best but is modest enough to recognize he might be wrong and happy to hear a contrary decision from the Court of Appeal.