Friday, February 20, 2015

Rodriguez v. Brill (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 20, 2015)

Sometimes the pages of the California Appellate Reporter can substitute for a gossip magazine.  Witness this case.

Here's the front-page teaser:

"Brill is an attorney in the Bakersfield area. He and Rodriguez lived together as husband and wife for a number of years. When they separated, Rodriguez filed this action in 2006 against Brill, asserting that Brill promised to support her for the rest of her life and, in exchange, she gave up many opportunities to obtain the education and training she would need to support herself."

Ooh!  Palimony. Against an attorney.  This one.  Plus testimony that you don't normally expect in a palimony action against an attorney.  Like the former partner saying:  "I have been homeless since my ex-husband left me. I stay here and there, and because I grew up in Delano, I went and rented a P.O. box [there]. My daughters are unemployed. They are homeless, too.”

I'm quite confident that there are many sides to the various competing stories here.  And the underlying appeal concerns hypertechnical procedural stuff about terminating discovery sanctions, the applicability of mandatory relief for attorney negligence, etc.

Still, for stuff that's all about procedure, there are definitely some gritty details here.

In the end, it looks like Mr. Brill will have to now actually go to trial and defend his former partner's palimony claim.  Because the Court of Appeal reverses the trial court's denial of relief under CCP 473(b).  So unless there's another procedural debacle in the future -- which is certainly possible -- it looks like Kern County may get an interesting trial sometime soon.