Monday, September 19, 2016

Rothstein v. Superior Court (Cal. Ct. App. - Sept. 16, 2016)

Justice Baker explains the relevant issue in the opening paragraph of this opinion:

"While a husband and wife were litigating their ongoing marriage dissolution case, a limited liability company run by the wife filed a civil action concerning a disputed debt at issue in the dissolution proceedings. The superior court deemed the two cases related and assigned the civil case to the already assigned judge. The question we decide is whether the limited liability company’s Code of Civil Procedure section 170.6 challenge in the related civil action requires transfer of both cases to a new judge."  (emphasis in original)

Justice Baker frames the question, but doesn't immediately answer it.  For that, you have to read all the way to page four of the opinion.

But from the mere framing of the question -- as well as the strategically placed emphasis on the word "both" -- you can probably already figure out the answer.

As page four says:

"We hold a section 170.6 challenge filed in a case that is related to (not consolidated with) an earlier-filed case in which the assigned judge has resolved a disputed factual issue relating to the merits requires transfer of only the later-filed case to another judge. We explain why."

That's the rest of the opinion.