Monthly Archives: January 2014

Playing Gotcha With Requests For Admission- Bad Form Counsel

California Appellate Report: St. Mary v. Superior Court Cal. Ct. App. – Jan. 31, 2014.

The link above will lead you to a good article on discovery, discovery abuse, and the long forgotten notion of fair play.

While the outcome is fair, the article recognizes that the costs of an appeal should convince us all to respond to discovery requests in a timely fashion instead of hoping for fair treatment from an appellate court.


Los Defensores, Inc. v. Gomez- Don’t Play Discovery Games

Click Here For Opinion.

If a party repeatedly refuses to cooperate with discovery requests, then it faces a terminating sanction. The substantive legal issues in Los Defensores  are not important, but the severe procedural penalties should encourage more professional and cooperative exchanges of information.

Law Schools See The Writing On The Wall

Tuition is cut 18 percent at this law school.

This article from the ABA Journal identifies a handful of law schools across the country that have reduced tuition.

A college senior who is likely graduating with student loan debt cannot consider taking on so much more debt in an uncertain job market.


Stupid Lawsuit Of The Day (or of 2014)

Pimp convicted of stomping customer sues Nike over lack of warning label on shoes.

The link says it all.  Nike should have warned the pimp that their shoes could constitute a dangerous weapon when used during a beating of a customer.

At least he could not find a lawyer to take this case.

Finding a Great Tenant (or Avoiding A Nightmare)

Finding a Great Tenant | CEB Blog – Your Partner In Practice.

Some excellent, albeit basic, tips for landlords who want to be successful landlords.

New UC Davis study reveals how people want their lawsuits resolved :: UC Davis News & Information

New UC Davis study reveals how people want their lawsuits resolved :: UC Davis News & Information.

In an article in the University of Iowa Law Review, The Psychology Of Procedural Preference, UC Davis Law Professor Donna Shestowsky analyzes ADR options and preferences available to civil litigants.

This article is more an indictment of the budget crises facing courts across the nation than an analysis of the trends in ADR. Almost every dollar eliminated from a court’ s budget comes out of the civil side, since criminal proceedings enjoy constitutional protections that trump budget cuts.  In a civil judicial system where resources dwindle by the day, the idea of a jury trial, if not the broader idea of civil justice, becomes more of a far off ideal than a practical reality.  

One example from the article is that litigants prefer mediation over nonbinding arbitration.  This is not a surprise, as nonbinding arbitration too often produces a result that is unsatisfactory to one side, resulting in a request for a trial.  It still exists, at least in California, because a judge can order it for certain cases, such as those with an amount in controversy less than $50,000.00 while mediation remains purely voluntary.  I cannot remember the last time a judge ordered one of my cases to nonbinding arbitration because I know better than to reject mediation, especially in counties that have mediation panelists who will provide low- or no-cost mediation services for appropriate cases.

Mediation in the hands of a trained professional gives parties to a dispute the best chance at an economically positive outcome.  State courts should do more to encourage mediation, but we must recognize that mediation cannot replace true civil justice.  Our budget system must treat and fund the judicial branch as a coequal branch with the legislative and the executive and not as an ungrateful recipient of shrinking largesse.