Monday, April 13, 2009

Vidrio v. Hernandez (Cal. Ct. App. - April 13, 2009)

If I were Judge McKnew (up in Los Angeles), here's what I'd say about this opinion, which reversed his $1857.50 sanction award: "Okay. You got me. I was angry that Mercury Insurance Company attended a mandatory settlement conference and (1) negotiated in total bad faith by never offering more than $1000, and (2) being rude to me personally. They totally should have ponied up more, if only on a cost of defense basis, and I thought -- and still think -- they weren't 'meaningfully' participating in the MSC. So I spanked 'em for almost two grand. The Court of Appeal can reverse me -- and did -- holding that there's no way to sanction a nonparty for refusing to pay more. But, notwithstanding the reversal, I think I got my point across. And, in the process, made Mercury pay a lot more than $2000 in attorney's fees, both in the trial court and on appeal, in a case that on the merits could easily have been settled for $10,000."

Though, if I were Justice Perluss, I'd respond: "All true. But we still get to reverse you."