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 costs where the trial court determines that “a plaintiff , petitioner, cross-complainant, or intervenor” did not bring “the proceeding with reasonable cause and in the good faith belief that there was a justiciable controversy under the facts and law which warranted the filing of the complaint . . . .” The trial court ordered plaintiff and her lawyer to pay $11,457.65 for the State’s attorney fees and costs. In reversing the sanctions order against the lawyer, the appellate court noted that Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 provides for sanctions against an attorney, and stated: “Unless and until the Legislature amends section 1038 to authorize an award of ‘sanctions’ against counsel, defense costs and fees may not be imposed against counsel pursuant thereto.” (Settle v. State of California; James McKiernan, Objector and Appellant (Cal. App. Second Dist., Div. 3; July 23, 2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 215, [174 Cal.Rptr.3d 925].)
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