Friday, December 12, 2014

Pacific Corporate Group Holdings LLC v. Keck (Cal. Ct. App. - Dec. 12, 2014)

What a jurisdictional mess.

If you think it's easy to figure out if you can appeal -- and/or on what issues -- when the trial court imposes an additur (e.g., grants a conditional new trial) and the defendant doesn't consent, this case will disabuse you of that notion.  Instead, it's an absolute nightmare to figure out, and Justice Aaron goes through the various conflicting opinions and caveats and exceptions that govern this topic and sorts them out as best she sees fit.

My own opinion, upon reading this whole thing, was that a much more straightforward solution was in order:  Just don't allow an appeal until the new trial on damages is over.  On anything.  At all.

That's what we essentially do in the federal system.  And it seems to work out just fine.

I understand that's not an option that the Court of Appeal has given existing state precedent.  But it's something the California Supreme Court might well want to consider.

If only because cases like this one are a sloppy mess of piecemeal review.