Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Jennifer K. v. Shane K. (Cal. Ct. App. - April 7, 2020)

This published opinion contains twenty full pages of factual recitations regarding the domestic relationship between the two parties.  That's a lot of fact-specific detail for a published opinion.

On the merits, it's a good example of how the Court of Appeal is in a not-particularly-favorable position to make credibility determinations.  Especially in situations where, as here, the evidence in starkly in contrast.  Mother and her witnesses have one version of the facts.  Father and his witnesses definitely have another.  The trial judge made a call.  Maybe it was right, maybe it was wrong.  But the Court of Appeal doesn't feel like it's in a position to make a better call.  Both for doctrinal as well as practical reasons.

P.S. - Page 39, footnote 8, last sentence, fifth word.  Appears as "preva1ence" in the opinion.  Weird.  It looks like what should be a letter (an "l") is actually a number ("1").  They look almost exactly the same, but the spacing is off.  And at least on my computer, when I cut-and-past that word from the opinion, it shows up as the number "1" in the middle of the word -- and hence is labelled misspelled -- whereas a regular letter "l" would not.  Never seen that before. Can't fathom how a number would get plopped in the middle of a work, especially since the relevant number key (1) is so far from the letter key (l).  Nor, before today, did I realize just how similarly these two characters look when typed on the usual computer fonts.