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.

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Tag: Stipulated Reversals

Judgment Vacated by Stipulation Still Has Preclusive Effect

When settling a case after a judgment, parties sometimes explore the possibility of a stipulated reversal of the judgment. In the Court of Appeal, the burden required is very high. But what about getting a stipulated vacatur of the judgment at the trial court?

The parties in Meridian Financial Services, Inc. v. Phan (D4d3 Aug. 10, 2021) 67 Cal.App.5th 657 [282 Cal.Rptr.3d 457, 67 Cal.App.5th 657], review filed (Sept. 17, 2021) stipulated for vacatur of large portions of the statement of decision and judgment as a condition of their settlement. The trial court went along with it.

But the judgment that was left over still had preclusive effect. So the exercise was largely pointless.

The Upshot: Do not put a lot of stock in a stipulated reversal or vacatur of a judgment. It is very difficult to achieve in the Court of Appeal. And even if you can achieve it in the trial court, the effect may be less than you think.

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