Thursday, September 24, 2009

Clement v. Alegre (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 23, 2009)

You don't get many appellate cases about interrogatories, much less opinions that address your standard boilerplate objections that we routinely see in everyday litigation. So when one comes out -- and when it's so strident -- it's something you should at least be familiar with.

I can shorthand Justice Kline's take pretty quickly. The Court of Appeal doesn't like lawyers who play games and who refuse or delay answering questions based upon nitpicky, hypertechnical objections. Even if you're smart enough to come up with alleged deficiencies, the Court of Appeal won't care. Sanctions may well be imposed below, and if they are, they'll be affirmed in a strongly-worded opinion. Indeed, my read of footnote twelve is that Justice Kline would have imposed sanctions on appeal as well if the defendant had shown even the slightest interest in them.

So be wary of interposing boilerplate objections that we all know are silly. Or at least of going to the mat on them. You're not likely to get an appreciative audience, particularly in the Court of Appeal.