Legal News and Appellate Tips

Each week, TVA appellate attorney Tim Kowal reviews several recent decisions out of the appellate courts in California, and elsewhere, and reports about the ones that might help you get an edge in your cases and appeals.

If you would like to receive weekly updates of the articles posted here, click here to sign up for the newsletter.

Tag: Preclusion

A Dismissed Appeal Is Not “On the Merits” If the Dismissal Was for Mootness

Ever had an appeal dismissed? It hurts. But there may be a silver lining: the underlying judgment may no longer have any preclusive value. That’s what happened in the published opinion in Parkford Owners for a Better Community v. Windeshausen (D3 Jul. 14, 2022 No. C094419) 81 Cal.App.5th 216.

In that case, a neighborhood group challenged the expansion of a storage facility on CEQA grounds. The trial court rejected the challenge, and the neighborhood group appealed. But pending the appeal, the expansion project went forward, rendering the appeal moot, leading the Court of Appeal to dismiss.

So then the neighborhood group challenged the issuance of a business license to the storage facility, this time on zoning grounds.

The storage company filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings on res judicata and preclusion grounds, arguing the issues in the new lawsuit were encompassed in the final judgment. The trial court granted the motion.

But the Court of Appeal reversed. Res judicata and claim preclusion require a final judgment. But here, the prior judgment, though challenged on appeal, was dismissed on mootness grounds. A dismissal solely on mootness grounds does not result in a final judgment “on the merits” as required to apply the doctrine of res judicata or preclusion.

Comment: I am not sure about this holding. When the trial court entered the judgment here, it had preclusive effect. Had the appellant not appealed, it would have retained its preclusive effect. But the court held that merely taking a notice of appeal, but then failing to get a decision before the corpus of the appeal was destroyed (thus rendering the appeal moot), had the result of eliminating the preclusive effect of the judgment. So the appellant gets a free do-over.

Could an appellant get the same result via a dismissal on other technical or procedural grounds other than mootness? What if the appellant files the notice of appeal, but then fails to pay the filing fee? Or fails to designate the record?

I find this outcome so confusing that I wonder that I may be missing something.

Read More

Tags

Podcast (101)
Videos (90)
Appealability and Appealable Orders (34)
Legal Writing (26)
Abuse of Discretion (24)
Mischief (22)
Unpublished Opinions (21)
Anti-SLAPP (21)
Splits of Authority (20)
Notices of Appeal (19)
Stays on Appeal (19)
California Supreme Court (19)
Statements of Decision (18)
Waiver and Forfeiture (18)
Record on Appeal (17)
Attorney Fees (16)
Arbitration (16)
Judgment Enforcement (15)
Oral Argument (14)
Dismissals (14)
Sanctions (13)
Dissents (13)
Briefing (12)
Evidentiary Objections (12)
Exclusion of Evidence (12)
Trial Strategy (12)
Preliminary Injunctions (11)
Timeliness (11)
Family Law (11)
Timely and Untimely Appeals (11)
New Trial Motions (11)
Mootness (11)
Collateral Orders (11)
Jurisdiction (11)
Appellate Sanctions (11)
CCP 998 Offers (11)
Civility (10)
Experts (10)
Federal Courts (10)
Motions for Reconsideration (10)
Dismissed Appeals (9)
Writ Petitions (9)
Implied Findings (9)
Posttrial Motions (9)
Summary Judgments and Summary Adjudications (9)
Settlements (8)
Appealability (8)
Trial Procedure (8)
Disqualification (7)
Default Judgments (7)
Ninth Circuit (7)
Probate Appeals (7)
Respondent Arguments (7)
Stipulated Judgments (6)
Admission of Improper Evidence (6)
Appellate Bonds (6)
Ethical Duty of Candor (6)
Substantial Evidence (6)
Appellate Practice (6)
Discovery (6)
Standards of Review (6)
Mediation (6)
Motions to Vacate and Set Aside Judgments (5)
Federal Appeals (5)
Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (5)
Depublished Opinions (5)
Summary Judgments (5)
Finding Compelled as a Matter of Law (Failure of Proof) Standard of Review (5)
Trial Irregularities and Structural Errors (5)
Standing (5)
Petitions for Review (5)
Motions to Vacate (4)
Expert Opinions (4)
Trust and Probate (4)
Notices of Entry (4)
Frivolous Motions (4)
Appeals Treated as Writs (4)
Motions in Limine (4)
Excessive Damages (4)
Litigation Tips (4)
Disentitlement Doctrine (4)
Prejudicial Error (3)
Landlord Tenant (3)
Tentative Rulings (3)
Appealable Orders (3)
Frivolous Appeals (3)
Stays (3)
Recovery of Costs (3)
Demurrers (3)
Pretrial Procedure (3)
Appellate Briefing (3)
Summary Judgment (3)
Amicus Briefs (3)
Legal Tech (3)
Personal Jurisdiction (3)
Juror Peremptory Challenges (3)
Motions to Dismiss (3)
Jury Instructions (3)
Jury Waivers (3)
Right to Jury Trial (3)
Judicial Admissions (2)
Contempt (2)
Medical Rights (2)
Pleadings (2)
Judicial Bias (2)
Class Actions (2)
Record Designation (2)
Appeals Dismissed (2)
Premature Appeals (2)
ADA and Unruh Accessibility Actions (2)
Law and Motion (2)
Harmless Error (2)
Podcasts (2)
Pretrial Issues (2)
Stipulated Reversals (2)
PAGA Actions (2)
Alter Ego (2)
Legal Practice (2)
Remote Arguments (2)
Post Reversal Issues (2)
Comments (2)
Finality and Final Orders (2)
Standards of Evidence (2)
Untimeliness (2)
Trial by Reference and Pro Tem Judges (2)
Invited Error (2)
Constitutional Law (2)
Forfeiture and Waiver (2)
Attorney Client Privilege (2)
Waiver (2)
DismissalsAppealability and Appealable Orders (1)
Record (1)
Attorney Fees - CCP 1021.5 (1)
Third Parties and Nonparties (1)
Covid (1)
Settled Statements (1)
Typeface (1)
Attorney Feese (1)
Judicial Estoppel (1)
New Arguments (1)
Writs of Mandamus (CCP 1085) (1)
Clear and Convincing (1)
Family Court (1)
Mistrials (1)
Typography (1)
Attorney Misconduct (1)
Judicial Misconduct (1)
New Trial (1)
Premises Liability (1)
Administrative Law (1)
Clerks Service of File Stamped Judgment (1)
Law of the Case (1)
Out-of-State Litigant (1)
Moot Appeals (1)
Post-Appellate Issues (1)
Split Decisions (1)
U.S. Supreme Court (1)
Bankruptcy (1)
Employment Law (1)
Judicial Notice (1)
Closing Argument (1)
Referral Fees (1)
Trade Restraints (1)
Inconsistent Verdicts (1)
Post Reversal (1)
Benefits Obtained Trespass Damages (1)
Judicial Philosophy (1)
PAGA Attorney Fees (1)
Treble Damages (1)
Designating the Record (1)
Incorrect Decisions (1)
Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings (1)
Unsupported Arguments (1)
Ninth CircuitAbuse of Discretion (1)
Per Se Errors (1)
Trespass (1)
Dicta (1)
Inherent Authority (1)
PostJudgment Litigation (1)
Evidentiary Presumptions (1)
Juror Misconduct (1)
Product Liability (1)
Anecdotes (1)
Common Interest Doctrine (1)
Restraining Orders (1)
Nonsuit (1)
Consenting to Judgments (1)
Forfeiture (1)
Issue Selection on Appeal (1)
Precedent (1)
Waived and Forfeiture (1)
Civil Code 3334 (1)
Nonsuits JNOVs and 631.8 Judgments (1)
Property Rights (1)
Summary Reversal (1)
Local Rules (1)
Petitions for Rehearing (1)
Review as Writ Petition (1)
Motions to Quash (1)
Preclusion (1)
Stare Decisis (1)
Civil Theft (1)
Exhaustion of Remedies (1)
Punitive Damages (1)
Support Awards (1)
Constitutional Litigation (1)
Free Exercise (1)
Landlore Tenant (0)
Appellate (0)
Split of Authority (0)
No categories Legal Writing (0)
Professional Ethics (0)
Petitionf ro Review (0)
Retainer Agreements (0)
Notice of Appeal (0)
crossmenuchevron-down