Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Artus v. Gramercy Towers Condo. Ass'n (Cal. Ct. App. - March 30, 2022)

You can feel the love in this one. And when there's no love, you definitely feel that too.

Division Two of the First repeatedly displays its love for the trial judge, Judge Kahn (from SF). The first reference to Judge Kahn says: "As will be seen, it was Judge Kahn, a most experienced Superior Court judge, who presided over the case through its conclusion . . . ." And the compliments only get stronger thereafter. (To take but one representative example: "[O]ne reading that transcript—with Judge Kahn’s questions, his comments, and his colloquy with counsel—cannot but be impressed by the depth and breadth of Judge Kahn’s understanding of the litigation.")

By contrast, the panel's definitely not feeling the love for either of the lawyers for the parties on appeal. Plaintiff's attorneys first get mentioned this way: "Passing over the fact that Dr. Artus’s brief misrepresents the record in many respects, her arguments fall way short, as they do little, if anything, more than regurgitate and reassert the same arguments thoroughly analyzed—and rejected—by Judge Kahn in his analysis." And it only gets worse from there; e.g., "Dr. Artus makes two other arguments, numbered six and seven . . . . Neither argument merits discussion. The third argument, all of five lines, has no support. And the fourth argument essentially asks us to change some language in the earlier opinion by our colleagues in Division One. It is most inappropriate."

Defendant's attorneys don't exactly feel the love either. Here's how they get introduced to the reader: "Cross-appealing Judge Kahn’s denial of attorney fees to it, GTCA has filed a 22-page opening brief that has an introduction, a statement of facts and procedural history, and fewer than 12 pages described as “discussion,” fewer than two pages of which could even be considered argument." Not exactly a compliment on the brief, eh? 

Lest that be all, the panel continues: "And what might be called the argument that follows [ouch!] consists of these three brief paragraphs: [Quotes Paragraphs] That is essentially it. It is unpersuasive, as it utterly fails to come to grips with Judge Kahn’s detailed analysis."

This is one of those opinions where the panel most assuredly lets you know how they feel.