Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Grace v. Mansourian (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 15, 2015)

I always tell my students that requests for admission are valuable tools that should be propounded far more than they are.  But I also tell them that it's incredibly rare for courts to actually impose cost of proof sanctions at the end of trial, both because most cases settle and because judges are reluctant to actually impose them.

Today's case proves the latter point.  But it's also incredibly valuable, because the Court of Appeal reverses, holding that the trial court abused its discretion by not imposing cost of proof sanctions, and that this was true even in a he said/she said case of "who ran the red light".  The fact that an issue was actively disputed at trial, and even the fact that there might have been "substantial evidence" in favor of both sides of the dispute (e.g., that would preclude summary judgment), doesn't matter.

That's a great -- and rare -- holding.  You should cite it often.  Both when requesting cost of proof sanctions and when threatening the other side with 'em.