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Under CCP 904.1(a)(12), a monetary sanctions award of $5,000 or more is immediately appealable.  However, an order for an issue sanction on a discovery motion is not immediately appealable.  Even when the order awards both monetary and issue sanctions, the issue sanctions portion of the order is not appealable unless the two sanctions are intimately intertwined. (See Mileikowsky v. Tenet… Read More

Both parts of the Discovery Act's sanctions chapter, CCP 2023.010 lists the types of discovery abuses the Legislature sought to preclude, and CCP 2023.030 lists the types of sanctions that can be awarded if authorized by a later section governing a specific discovery device, but neither of these general sections, in itself or combined with each other, authorizes imposition of… Read More

The district court abused its discretion in excluding testimony from defendant's sole trial witness and in imposing monetary sanctions for defendants' purported failure to properly identify the areas of testimony of the witness--who had been identified in the defendant's initial disclosures.  Even if the initial disclosures showed only that the witness would testify about the underlying lawsuit for which the… Read More

CCP 575.2 authorizes superior courts to impose sanctions for violation of local rules promulgated under CCP 575.1.  This decision holds that a court may impose sanctions under 575.2 for violation of rules governing submission of documents in preparation for trial (such as in limine motions and jury instructions) as well as for violation of pretrial rules.  It also holds that… Read More

The trial court correctly denied this lawyer-defendant's Anti-SLAPP motion, finding that this suit to collect the agreed price for its services was not based on protected speech.  The fraud and concealment claim brought against the lawyer was for misrepresentations and concealments about the client-buyer's financial condition which induced plaintiff to enter into the services contract.  Communications at the pre-contract stage… Read More

The trial court abused its discretion in dismissing this action as a sanction under CCP 128.7 on the ground that there was no reasonable ground for thinking it was not barred by the statute of limitations.  The action sought to quiet title to the property that the plaintiff had purchased in 2008 with knowledge of prior agreements purportedly assigning "coverage… Read More

A federal court may award sanctions using civil procedures only if the sanctions are compensatory in nature, recompensing the harmed party for harm that was caused by (would not have occurred but for) the sanctioned party's sanctionable conduct.  For any sanctions beyond that or having a punitive or deterrent purpose, the court must employ criminal type of procedure with an… Read More

Under CCP 2023.010 and 2023.030, providing evasive or false discovery responses is a discovery abuse for which the court must grant the opposing party monetary sanctions unless it finds there was substantial justification for the discovery abuse or awarding sanctions would be unjust.  Here, the trial court found substantial abuse of discovery in providing false responses, but erroneously failed to… Read More

In reaction to San Diegans for Open Government v. City of San Diego (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 1306, the Legisalture amended CCP 128.5 to require in subdivision (f) that the court first find a motion, complaint or other filing to be frvolous under subdivision (a) and then not award sanctions until after a 21-day safe harbor as under CCP 128.7.  This… Read More

Three principles govern the award of monetary sanctions for discovery abuse.  First, the court must award monetary sanctions against the loser of a discovery motion unless it finds that either the loser acted with substantial justification or imposition of sanctions would be unjust under the circumstances.  Second, the monetary sanctions may only be imposed based on attorney fees and costs… Read More

A sanctions motion under either CCP 128.5 & 128.7 must be served on the party from whom sanctions are sought at least 21 days before the motion is filed in court in order to give that party time to rectify the allegedly sanctionable conduct.  Read More

A trial court has inherent power to dismiss as frivolous plaintiff’s 31 proceedings against prominent persons whom he claimed were harassing him. Read More

Different deadlines apply to seeking double costs and attorney fees for a frivolous appeal under Fed. R. App. P. 38; a bill of costs must be filed within 14 days after the opinion is filed, but attorney fees may be sought within 14 days after the time for seeking rehearing expires. Read More

Exercising its inherent power, a federal court may award attorney fees as a sanction; however, unless criminal contempt procedures are followed, the sanction cannot exceed the amount of attorney fees the opposing party would not have incurred but for the sanctionable conduct.  Read More

In determining whether an action or tactic is frivolous for purposes of a sanctions award under CCP 128.5, the court should apply an objective standard, judging the merits of the action or tactic from a reasonable person's perspective; and that a complaint withstood demurrer does not prove it was not frivolous, since whether a claim is meritless must be evaluated… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting terminating sanctions after plaintiff’s attorney repeatedly disobeyed in limine orders by referring to excluded evidence in his opening statement and questioning of witnesses, prejudicing defendants because jury might think their repeated, proper objections were hiding the true facts from the jury.  Read More