What happens when the unmovable object—here, a jurisdictional limit—meets an unstoppable force—here, the liberality doctrine. We find out in Magyar v. Kaiser Permanente Medical Center (D2d2 Jan. 23, 2023 No. B315353) 2023 WL 355173 (nonpub. opn.): the unmovable object gave way. And so the plaintiff, who lost on summary judgment and forgot to appeal the judgment, got it reversed anyway.
What happened was there were two summary judgments, entered six days apart. The plaintiff appealed from the first, but apparently neglected to appeal from the second. The court said that, ordinarily, this means that the second judgment was outside the court’s jurisdiction to review. But under the “liberality doctrine,” the court inferred the plaintiff intended to appeal from both, because there was “nothing that would logically and conclusively demonstrate plaintiffs intended to appeal solely from one of the judgments.”
This is about the broadest application of the liberality doctrine that I’ve seen. And it starts from the assumption that all judgments are contained in the notice of appeal unless something in the record “logically and conclusively demonstrate[s]” otherwise. That seems off to me.