Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Evans v. Centerstone Development Co. (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 21, 2005)

The following is never a good sign: You're the attorney who filed the appeal, and the first page of the court's opinion contains the following: "We publish this opinion because this case presents a prime example of a frivolous appeal and of flagrant violations of the rules pertaining to appeals." Ouch!

Perhaps it's needless to say, but I'll say it anyway: Justice Rylaarsdam's opinion then goes on to repeatedly and mercilessly slam the attorney for appellant. Here's a brief sample of some of the highlights: calling one argument/citation "so oblique as to be meaingless"; writing that "We decline the implied invitation that we review the 1,839 pages of the arbitration transcript to find such testimony" when appellant didn't reference a particular page; "The rules themselves demonstrate the frivolous nature of the plaintiffs' contention."; and ending the substantive discussion with the following bot mot: "Because of the lack of organization and the improper format of plaintiffs' briefs, arguments in addition to those we have discussed may have been alluded to or raised in other than the discussion section. To that extent or to the extent plaintiffs raised other issues without fully or properly briefing them, they are waived."

And all of these comments were the nice ones. The last section of the opinion, regarding sanctions, is where the Court of Appeal gets really harsh. I'll spare you (and the appellant's counsel) from a recitation of those. But they're funny, and really insulting, so I encourage some light reading on your own. Ouch ouch ouch. It hurts so, so bad.

Plaintiff's counsel, by the way, is Randall Waier, a graduate of Loyola Law school whose office is in Newport Beach -- indeed, a couple blocks from John Wayne airport. Mr. Waier has been disciplined previously, and was given a private reproval back in 2000. This time the sanction is going to hit him in the pocketbook as well.