Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hoffman v. Citibank (9th Cir. - Oct. 14, 2008)

The Ninth Circuit remands -- "respectfully" (though I think they actually mean it this time) -- so the district court can apply the correct law in a more rigorous fashion than it did previously. Judge Trott concurs to basically slam the California Court of Appeals for not getting on the same page. A snippet of the latter, including the final paragraph:

"California law is far from settled. . . . [Judge Trott then describes three competing opinions from the First, Second, and Fourth Appellate Districts.] The good news, if there is any good news in all of this, is that the California Supreme Court vacated and remanded the [last of these cases] for further proceedings in light of its decision in Gentry . . . . There it is. Mixed signals from the California courts. One hopes on remand in this case that the legal dust will soon settle and that our district court will have some reliable authority upon which to base its decision."

Personally, given that the first two Court of Appeal cases reach conflicting results, I don't see how the third case can possibly "settle" this dispute anytime soon, which could only be definitively resolved if the California Supreme Court had granted review. But maybe Judge Trott is just more of an optimist than I am.

So the Ninth Circuit says: "Get your act together, California Court of Appeal. Help us out on this one." Which I'm sure will happen really, really soon. (Read this last sentence sarcastically.)