Friday, November 18, 2005

The Santa Anita Companies v. Westfield Corp. (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 17, 2005)

Hilarious. You have to read the first eight pages of this opinion. Which explain, at length, how even high-priced legal talent in Los Angeles -- in particular, O'Melveny & Myers -- can totally screw up a relatively straightforward real estate transaction by making a boneheaded error that resulted in an extremely valuable 2.36 acre parcel of land adjacent to the Santa Anita Racetrack being mistakenly transferred to the wrong party. And how no one noticed this fact for several years. Until a paralegal -- a paralegal -- from Gibson Dunn caught the mistake.

Of course, the mistake was caught only after the statute of limitations had run. But no matter. Justice Mosk holds the statute was tolled. Becasue O'Melveny acted competently -- and in a same manner as other major Los Angeles law firms -- when it made a totally stupid mistake that even a paralegal could (and did) catch. Yep. Definitely.