Tuesday, April 10, 2007

People v. Bradus (Cal. Ct. App. - April 10, 2007)

I like Justice Huffman's opinion in this case. More for its style rather than its substance (though I think the latter is fine as well).

But, as to the former, I like it how Justice Huffman slams -- fairly forcefully -- the various arguments of "the People" (e.g., the deputy AG's) on appeal in a manner that makes it clear that he expects more from the AG's office than existed here and yet avoids being offensive. I think that both prongs of that duality are important. I think that the judiciary can and should expect the assertion of only fair and intellectually honest arguments from government lawyers on appeal, rather than simply the assertion of whatever "kitchen sink" contentions that might pass the test of frivolousness.

I know that some might disagree, but I personally feel pretty strongly in this regard. The AG's duty is not to win, but to do justice. I don't think it serves justice to try to reach a result -- especially, here, one that's of no substantial importance -- through the assertion of arguments that are clearly wrong, even if not frivolous. I expect more from "the People", and I think that Justice Huffman -- in his much more subtle way -- does so as well.

P.S. - I was also happy to see that, even though this case is from San Diego, neither of the two lowest names on the briefs (and hence the ones presumptively most responsible for it) from the AG's office were from USD, and were instead Marvin Mizell (from Davis) and Maxine Cutler (from Golden Gate).