Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ratcliff v. Terrones (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 22, 2013)

Sometimes I wonder what the appellant's attorney was smoking that made counsel think that s/he had any chance of success on appeal.  Like here.

The trial court here was obviously correct.  You're allowed to have a relative create a will for you even if that relative is related to a beneficiary.  That person simply has to be a relative at the time of the creation of the will.  Appellant's theory that the person also has to be a relative whenever you die is simply silly.  It's silly in theory, silly in practice, and is also an argument that's wholly unsupported by the relevant statutory text.  (Among other things, how could someone know in advance to whom  s/he is necessarily going to be related when s/he dies?  Lots of things can happen, particularly with respect to in-laws.)

Sometimes you read an appeal and just scratch your head.  How could counsel be so blinded by their own "brilliance" that they think they've got a shot on appeal?  That the appeal's worth the time and/or money?

Classic example.