Thursday, January 09, 2014

Certainteed Corp. v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 8, 2013)

I like the speed -- incredible speed, really -- the Court of Appeal employs to get this opinion out.

Deposition terminated on November 25, 2013.  Trial court reluctantly holds on December 10, 2013 that it's not permitted to allow the deposition to be continued.  Writ filed the day before Christmas, December 24, 2013.  Trial scheduled to commence on January 14, 2014 in this expedited case.

Court of Appeal issues a peremptory writ on the Friday after Christmas, December 27, 2013.  (Wow!)  On Monday (December 30), the trial court refuses to vacate its order.  That Friday, plaintiff files its return, and on the following Tuesday (January 7) defendant files it reply.

Court of Appeal publishes its opinion one day (!) later.  January 8, 2014.  Four court days before the trial is scheduled to commence.

Who says appellate courts can't be speedy when they want to be?

It's also an important case.  We all know that, under the new rules, depositions in state court presumptively can't be over seven hours long, but that courts can change those limits.  The question here is whether courts can change those limits for (1) complex cases, (2) in which a physician certifies that the deponent might well die within six months.  Paragraph (b) of Section 2025.290 seems to state that in those types of cases, depos can only be a maximum of 14 hours total (over two days).  The trial court thought that was a hard limit.  Not subject to extension by a court.

The Court of Appeal disagrees.  Those things can be extended too.

Right result.  Somewhat hard to get there given the statutory text, however.  Nonetheless, I think the Court of Appeal's approach is plausible, so am on board.

And definitely agree with the process.  Speedy justice is good justice.

At least when the case comes out the right way.