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: Stipulated Judgments

What You Need to Know about Fee-and-Costs Awards on Appeal

The issue that most often drags appeals back into more litigation is attorney fee and costs. What happens when, while focusing on the appeal, the prevailing party gets a substantial award of fees and costs?

• Do you have to separately appeal from the fees and costs award? (Yes…usually.)

• How can you stay enforcement of the fees and costs award? (Fee & cost awards are stayed automatically…sometimes.)

• If you win the underlying appeal, what happens to the fees and costs award? (It goes away automatically…in theory.)

We discuss these questions and more in this nuts-and-bolts episode of the California Appellate Law Podcast.

Read More
A Stipulated Judgment to Facilitate an Appeal Held Appealable

If you are involved in declaratory relief lawsuits, you might be confronted with the need for a stipulated judgment, as happened *Tos v. State of California* (D3 Nov. 30, 2021) ___ Cal.Rptr.3d ___ 2021 WL 5576552 (no. C089466). The advice suggested in the case is particularly welcome because there are horror stories about stipulated judgments in other cases in both state courts and federal courts. So here is the right way to do it.

First, recall that in *Kurwa v. Kislinger* (expressing the general rule against the appealability of stipulated judgments), there were other claims the plaintiff wanted to preserve, and so the parties entered into a tolling agreement for those claims, and the plaintiff dismissed them *without prejudice*. Also, the defendant had a pending cross-complaint. In *Kurwa*, it was clear the parties were simply "manufacturing appellate jurisdiction," rather than waiting for a final judgment as the law requires.

In contrast, in *Tos* the stipulated judgment disposed of the only claim in the case. There was no cross-complaint. The judgment was with prejudice to the plaintiff's claims. This satisfied the court that the parties were not attempting to "manufacture appellate jurisdiction" as happened in *Kurwa*.

Read More
Move-Out Order Held Automatically Stayed on Appeal, But Sale Order Required a Bond, And Stipulation Mooted Appeal

When a court orders a party to move out of a residence, that is a mandatory injunction, which is automatically stayed upon appeal. But if the court also orders the sale of the property, the order is stayed on appeal only if a bond is given. And if the parties later stipulate to a different order, then the appeals of both of those orders are moot.

That is the thumbnail of Tearse v. Tearse (D1d4 Sep. 22, 2021) 2021 WL 4304761 (no. A158582) (nonpub. opn.). The really unusual thing about this case is how the court treated the respondent's argument that the appeal was moot. The court agreed, but was also concerned that it would operate to affirm a trial court's order that was void because entered after an automatic stay. So the court reversed that order as moot. That, surely, is not how the respondent expected his mootness argument would be taken. Be cautious with mootness arguments.

Get a weekly digest of these articles delivered to your inbox by subscribing here: https://lnkd.in/g23bc4Y.

Read More
Stipulations to Nonappealability Are Enforceable

Can parties settling a lawsuit agree to a stipulated judgment that is non-appealable? (Yes – that is rather an easy one.) What if there is a dispute whether the settlement has been performed: Is the order deciding that question appealable?

This latter question is taken up in Summit Bridge National Investments IV, LLC v. Meguerditch Panossian (D2d2 Aug. 4, 2021) no. B310067 (nonpub. opn.), and is answered in the negative. After discussing the case, I explain why I think the result is both unsupported and incorrect.

If there is any lesson to be offered here, perhaps it is to avoid stipulating to non-appealability. A stipulated judgment is not appealable anyway. There is such a thing as overdoing it.

Get a weekly digest of these articles delivered to your inbox by subscribing here: https://lnkd.in/g23bc4Y.

Read More
Is This Probate Order Appealable? Yes, But "It's Messy,"​ Says Appellate Court

When you are trying to determine if an order is appealable, that question is normally pretty cut-and-dried. But not in the probate case of Manvelian v. Manvel (D2d7 Jun. 22, 2021) no. B297334 (nonpub. opn.). The Second District Court of Appeal spent several paragraphs, evaluated the factual record, and threaded its analytical needle through multiple cases, including 100-year-old Supreme Court precedent, to determine that, though it is a "close call," the order denying a motion to vacate an order confirming a settlement was appealable.

You can usually tell whether the order is appealable just by the title or nature of the order. It should not require researching 100 years of precedent to find out if an order is appealable. But that is what it took here.

The Upshot: If you plan to challenge an order or judgment in a motion to vacate in probate court, try to raise issues and evidence that were not available at the time the underlying order or judgment was issued. That will help ensure an order denying your motion is independently appealable.

But if you do not need to raise new issues or evidence, make sure to timely appeal the underlying order or judgment. (In fact, you might timely appeal it regardless. You should consult an appellate attorney in this situation.)

Read More
A Cautionary Tale Against Taking an Appeal Too Early: Kurwa v. Kislinger (Cal. 2007)

What's the worst can happen by taking an appeal too early? I am asked this often, and the California Supreme Court case of Kurwa v. Kislinger (2017) 4 Cal.5th 109 always comes to mind. The worst that can happen? Five years of litigation, four trips to the Court of Appeal, two trips to the Supreme Court, and easily six figures in fees, just to get back to where you were when you first asked that question.

The nub of the problem in Kurwa was that plaintiff had two obstacles to appealability. Plaintiff used a too-clever-by-half ploy to get around one (stipulating to waiver of his remaining claim without prejudice, and a tolling agreement to boot). After realizing on appeal this could not create jurisdiction, plaintiff dismissed the rest of his claims with prejudice.
But there was a second obstacle: defendant's cross-claim was still pending. And because the trial court refused to dismiss the judgment based on the ill-conceived stipulation, plaintiff was stuck "in a legal cul de sac."

Read More
Stipulated Judgment and Waiver of Right to Appeal Did Not Result in Dismissal of Appeal

Settlements of litigation sometimes involve a provision to enter a stipulated judgment in the event the defendant fails to perform. A judgment entered upon stipulation typically is not subject to challenge on appeal. But that was not the case in Park Lane Assocs., LP v. Alioto (D1d4 Mar. 5, 2021) No. A155781 (unpublished). There, the parties agreed to a stipulated judgment and an express waiver of tenants' right to appeal. Yet when the unhappy tenants did appeal, the First Appellate District did not dismiss the appeal and instead reviewed appellants' arguments on the merits (but still affirmed the judgment).

But: tenant-appellants would have been better off had the Court of Appeal simply dismissed, as the court also found tenants were liable for landlord's attorneys' fees on appeal.

Read More

Tags

Podcast (129)
Videos (110)
Appealability and Appealable Orders (40)
Legal Writing (29)
Anti-SLAPP (29)
Oral Argument (26)
Mischief (25)
Statements of Decision (25)
Abuse of Discretion (24)
Splits of Authority (23)
Record on Appeal (23)
Waiver and Forfeiture (22)
Timely and Untimely Appeals (22)
Unpublished Opinions (22)
Stays on Appeal (22)
Notices of Appeal (21)
California Supreme Court (21)
Judgment Enforcement (20)
Arbitration (19)
Attorney Fees (18)
Briefing (18)
Sanctions (16)
Trial Strategy (16)
Dismissals (15)
Evidentiary Objections (14)
Writ Petitions (13)
Summary Judgments and Summary Adjudications (13)
Dissents (13)
Collateral Orders (13)
Appellate Sanctions (13)
Preliminary Injunctions (13)
Mootness (12)
Civility (12)
Timeliness (12)
Exclusion of Evidence (12)
Dismissed Appeals (12)
Jurisdiction (12)
New Trial Motions (12)
Posttrial Motions (11)
Experts (11)
Family Law (11)
Trial Procedure (11)
CCP 998 Offers (11)
Federal Courts (11)
Motions for Reconsideration (10)
Standards of Review (10)
Implied Findings (10)
Admission of Improper Evidence (9)
Appellate Briefing (9)
Respondent Arguments (8)
Disqualification (8)
Appealability (8)
Settlements (8)
Discovery (7)
Ninth Circuit (7)
Stipulated Judgments (7)
Finding Compelled as a Matter of Law (Failure of Proof) Standard of Review (7)
Pretrial Procedure (7)
Probate Appeals (7)
Appellate Bonds (7)
Default Judgments (7)
Appellate Practice (7)
Trial Irregularities and Structural Errors (7)
Federal Appeals (7)
Disentitlement Doctrine (6)
Substantial Evidence (6)
Litigation Tips (6)
Mediation (6)
Petitions for Review (6)
Depublished Opinions (6)
Ethical Duty of Candor (6)
Trust and Probate (5)
Excessive Damages (5)
Summary Judgments (5)
Standing (5)
Demurrers (5)
Right to Jury Trial (5)
Motions to Vacate and Set Aside Judgments (5)
Notices of Entry (5)
Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility (5)
Appealable Orders (4)
Stipulated Reversals (4)
Jury Instructions (4)
Appeals Treated as Writs (4)
Motions in Limine (4)
Motions to Dismiss (4)
Expert Opinions (4)
Frivolous Motions (4)
Motions to Vacate (4)
Prejudicial Error (4)
Tentative Rulings (4)
Pretrial Issues (3)
Legal Tech (3)
Juror Peremptory Challenges (3)
Class Actions (3)
Writs of Mandamus (CCP 1085) (3)
Forfeiture and Waiver (3)
Personal Jurisdiction (3)
Standards of Evidence (3)
Jury Waivers (3)
Summary Judgment (3)
Landlord Tenant (3)
Frivolous Appeals (3)
Amicus Briefs (3)
Law and Motion (3)
Stays (3)
Tentative Opinions and Focus Letters (3)
Constitutional Law (3)
Legal Practice (3)
Recovery of Costs (3)
Attorney Client Privilege (2)
Civil Theft (2)
Invited Error (2)
Appeals Dismissed (2)
Contempt (2)
Remote Arguments (2)
Post Reversal Issues (2)
ADA and Unruh Accessibility Actions (2)
Court Reporters (2)
Clear and Convincing (2)
Persuasion (2)
Judicial Admissions (2)
U.S. Supreme Court (2)
Judicial Bias (2)
Alter Ego (2)
Medical Rights (2)
Stare Decisis (2)
Harmless Error (2)
Trial by Reference and Pro Tem Judges (2)
Untimeliness (2)
Comments (2)
Pleadings (2)
Record Designation (2)
Mistrials (2)
New Trial (2)
Premature Appeals (2)
Podcasts (2)
Waiver (2)
Finality and Final Orders (2)
PAGA Actions (2)
Inherent Authority (1)
Post-Appellate Issues (1)
Split Decisions (1)
Trial Tips (1)
Evidentiary Presumptions (1)
Juror Misconduct (1)
Constitutional Litigation (1)
PAGA Attorney Fees (1)
Referral Fees (1)
Third Parties and Nonparties (1)
Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings (1)
Post Reversal (1)
Split of Authority (1)
Ninth CircuitAbuse of Discretion (1)
Forfeiture (1)
Per Se Errors (1)
Attorney Fees - CCP 1021.5 (1)
Issue Selection on Appeal (1)
Typeface (1)
Attorney Feese (1)
DismissalsAppealability and Appealable Orders (1)
PostJudgment Litigation (1)
Typography (1)
Administrative Law (1)
Exhaustion of Remedies (1)
Nonsuit (1)
Product Liability (1)
Covid (1)
Free Exercise (1)
Local Rules (1)
Restraining Orders (1)
Trade Restraints (1)
Attorney Misconduct (1)
Clerks Service of File Stamped Judgment (1)
Nonsuits JNOVs and 631.8 Judgments (1)
Cross-Appeals (1)
Treble Damages (1)
Bankruptcy (1)
Motions to Quash (1)
Precedent (1)
Closing Argument (1)
Notice of Appeal (1)
Property Rights (1)
Petitions for Rehearing (1)
Review as Writ Petition (1)
Trespass (1)
Benefits Obtained Trespass Damages (1)
Judicial Estoppel (1)
Preclusion (1)
Unsupported Arguments (1)
Family Court (1)
Punitive Damages (1)
Summary Reversal (1)
Memorandum Opinions (1)
Employment Law (1)
Judicial Misconduct (1)
State Civil Procedure Comparison Project (1)
Anecdotes (1)
Law of the Case (1)
Record (1)
Summary Reversals (1)
Erie Problems (1)
Judicial Notice (1)
New Arguments (1)
Common Interest Doctrine (1)
Support Awards (1)
Designating the Record (1)
Inconsistent Verdicts (1)
Settled Statements (1)
Judicial Philosophy (1)
Waived and Forfeiture (1)
Consenting to Judgments (1)
Legal News (1)
Out-of-State Litigant (1)
Art of Persuasion (1)
Dicta (1)
Incorrect Decisions (1)
Moot Appeals (1)
Civil Code 3334 (1)
Premises Liability (1)
No categories Legal Writing (0)
Appellate (0)
Professional Ethics (0)
Petitionf ro Review (0)
Retainer Agreements (0)
Landlore Tenant (0)
crossmenuchevron-down