Monday, May 18, 2009

Manhattan Loft LLC v. Mercury Liquors, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App. - May 18, 2009)

Sometimes cooling off makes a difference.

Take, for example, today's modification. Just reading it, you wouldn't think it was anything special, much less worth noting. It just changed a couple of minor lines of an opinion by Justice Ashmann-Gerst, after all. Like this change: "The paragraph commencing at the bottom of page 12, second full sentence, line 3, beginning 'However, in so arguing' and ending at the top of page 13 with '(a) of that statute' is modified to read as follow: However, that argument overlooks the definition of "‘provisional remedy,’" as set forth in subdivision (a) of that statute." (Sure, a snarky perfectionist might note the grammatical flaw of using the word "follow" rather than "follows," but put that to one side.)

Compare the original opinion, however, to see what the changes actually entail. They essentially delete some pretty serious -- harsh -- slams on the attorneys at Bingham McCutchen. For example, Justice Ashmann-Gerst changes "Respondents attempt to avoid this result through certain misrepresentations in their appellate brief" by deleting the "mis" and changing it to "representations". And also changes the quick -- and, in context, harsh -- rejoinder "Not true" in the original to "Not entirely true." The final change is of similar effect. All of 'em serve solely to tone down the slam on respondent's counsel.

So a good start of the week for Bruce Friedman, Roland Tellis, and Heather Ristau. They still lose, of course. But at least they have a lot fewer black marks in the eternal pages of the California Reporter.