Thursday, September 08, 2016

Minick v. City of Petaluma (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 2, 2016)

Sacramento attorney Joshua Watson obtains Section 473 relief for his client.  That's definitely a win.

But on the flip side, he also gets his own dirty laundry aired in a published opinion:

"Watson explained that he had been suffering from serious pulmonary and sleep disorders throughout 2013, and that his symptoms gradually worsened as the year progressed. He sought medical treatment and was put on a regimen of 12 different medications. In the course of treatment, he went to the emergency room four times, twice by ambulance; he consulted with five medical specialists in dozens of appointments; and he underwent radiological studies, lab studies, ultrasound studies, and sleep studies. Although Watson’s underlying pulmonary condition gradually improved, he claimed to have suffered side effects from the medications, including painful spasms, episodes of disorientation, and periods of uncharacteristically strong responses to stressors."

You can also read more in the opinion about Mr. Watson's opposition to the defendant's motion for summary judgment, which the trial court called (amongst other things) "ludicrous".

Nonetheless, Mr. Watson, and his client, prevail on appeal.  As do -- indirectly -- other California attorneys.  Who may perhaps be able to similarly claim that their own incompetence is subject to mandatory relief under Section 473.

So that's nice.