Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Baron v. Fire Ins. Exchange (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 4, 2007)

Imagine that you're Ronald R. Rossi (a Hastings Law graduate, from the old days), Susan R. Reischl (from Southwestern), and Samuel A. Chuck (from USC). You've taken a nice, long Labor Day holiday. Sun. Fun. Good times with friends and family. You go back to work on Tuesday.

And find this waiting for you. An opinion issued earlier that day from Justice Elia. That not only finds against you and your client -- and affirms, among other things, the $1.5 million punitive damages award against it -- and also awards attorney fees on appeal, but -- adding (literally) insult to injury -- has, inter alia, the following to say about you:

"Notwithstanding the righteous, histrionic tone of respondent's brief, we find no error in the trial court's judgment upholding the verdict. . . . The appellate briefs of both parties contain factual assertions with references to pages in the record that do not support their statements and, in respondent's brief, statements
highlighted in boldface without any record references at all. The parties' carelessness amounts to a disregard of California Rules of Court, rule 8.204(a)(1)(C) and rule 8.204(a)(2)(C). We will disregard any factual references that violate these provisions. We cannot, however, ignore respondent's unprofessional tone, including rhetorical queries, a fawning portrayal of the arbitrator as a 'practical, savvy former trial judge,' and the suggestion that this court 'should be similarly outraged' by Fire's conduct."

Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch.

Not at all what you want to be greeted with coming off holiday, as my Australian and British friends would say.