Friday, September 19, 2014

Pope v. Babick (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 19, 2014)

The good new for respondent Matthew Babick and his counsel is that they won at trial, and they win the appeal as well.  Congratulations.

The bad news is that Justice Moore doesn't shy away from telling us what she things about Babick's counsel.  Her opinion expressly names Babick's trial attorney -- Gregory Kane -- and notes that he "directly violated a court order by eliciting causation evidence from a California Highway Patrol officer who responded to the scene. Kane was subsequently sanctioned $500 and the jury was given a curative instruction."  The Court of Appeal says that it "find[s] Kane’s behavior unacceptable from an officer of the court," and adds that "we disapprove of Kane’s actions in the strongest possible terms."  Justice Moore even ends her opinion by saying:  "Once again, we strongly disapprove of Kane’s behavior. If it were up to us, he would have been sanctioned far more than $500."  Yikes.

Don't think that Babick's appellate counsel --  Gregory P. Konoske and D. Amy Akiyama -- get off entirely scot free either.  With respect to them, Justice Moore says:   "[T]his court neither appreciates nor accepts counsel’s inapt and inept attempts during oral argument to minimize Kane’s misconduct."  Double yikes.

Again, Babick wins on appeal.  But his counsel take a beating.  A savage beating.