In a breach of contract/breach of fiduciary duty/elder abuse action, a lawyer representing himself threatened opposing counsel with pepper spray and a stun gun at a deposition. When defendants moved for terminating sanctions, the lawyer plaintiff included in his opposition that the trial judge was a “former D.A. currently masquerading as a Superior Court Judge” and was defense counsel’s “pet dog.”
“The Primary Purpose . . . Was To Ruin [Former Husband And His New Wife] Financially.” The Trial Court.
The trial court ordered a former wife to pay her former husband $151,967 and his new wife $124,352 both as sanctions under Family Code section 271 and to pay for their attorney fees pursuant to Family Code section 2030. The trial court described the proceedings as a “morass of litigation, the primary purpose of which was to ruin [former husband and his new wife] financially.”
Sanctions Awarded Against Nonparty Who Brought Motion To Quash.
In marital dissolution proceedings, the husband issued a subpoena seeking the wife’s bank records. Unbeknownst to the husband, some of the wife’s father’s financial information was contained in those accounts. The wife’s father filed a motion to quash on September 5 arguing he had been given insufficient notice of the subpoena. A hearing date of […]
Sanctions Against Lawyer Reversed.
Plaintiff sued the State of California for dangerous condition of public property. Discovery disclosed the State did not own, control or maintain the property, and the State warned the plaintiff’s lawyer that it would seek sanctions pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1038, if the complaint was not dismissed, which provides for mandatory defense […]
Courts Don’t Like Discovery Gotcha Tactics.
Discovery responses to requests for admissions [RFAs] were served four days late, subsequent to the responding party twice being ignored after requesting a two-week extension to respond. The requesting party moved the trial court to have all 119 RFAs deemed admitted pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2033.280 (b). The court deemed discovery consisting of […]
Discovery Abuses: Play Nice Or Pay The Price!
The trial court ordered the entry of default after finding discovery abuses, including the concealment and destruction of requested documents. At the prove-up hearing, the trial court determined plaintiff was entitled to $691,280 in damages. The appellate court affirmed, concluding defendants willfully failed to comply with court orders, and that defendants “willfully concealed or destroyed written […]
No Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 Sanctions For Proceeding With Arbitration.
At the time the trial court confirmed an arbitration award in favor of defendants, it also denied a separate defense motion for sanctions made under Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 for advancing frivolous claims. The appellate court noted the primary purpose of section 128.7 is deterrence of filing abuses, not to provide compensation for those […]
Violation Of State Bar Rules Of Professional Conduct Court Sanctions Reversed.
A lawyer was sanctioned $43,000 under California Rules of Court, rule 2.30(b) for violating the California State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct by negligently hiring an attorney ineligible to practice law to assist her by acting as counsel at trial. In reversing, the appellate court stated: “As rule 2.30(b) does not authorize sanctions for violations of the Rules […]
Notice And Hearing Required Before Court May Order Sanctions.
In Marriage of Duris (Cal. App. Second Dist., Div. 6; March 14, 2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 510, [123 Cal.Rptr.3d 150], the court conducted a hearing on a motion to modify child support. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court ordered the moving party to pay $10,000 in sanctions because of “unnecessary legal activity.” The Court of Appeal reversed. […]
“The Trouble With Law Is Lawyers”—Clarence Darrow.
A lawyer filed a class action lawsuit against Toshiba on behalf of a class of purchasers of laptops which had an electrostatic discharge problem. The trial court awarded $165,000 in sanctions against the lawyer and awarded her no attorney fees, even though she requested $24 million. The appellate court described in detail “the arduous procedural […]