The Court of Appeal assessed sanctions against defendant’s attorneys of $8,500 payable to its clerk as well as plaintiffs’ fees for having to prepare twice for trial. Eleven days before trial defendants attorneys appeared ex parte to shorten time for hearing a motion to compel arbitration. The trial court refused to shorten time, but the attorneys presented it with an order that denied the motion to compel arbitration as well. The attorneys then appealed, derailing the trial which had been their goal all along. The appeal was frivolous as the error was invited and the defendant had waived arbitration by delaying too long in seeking to compel arbitration. In addition, the Court of Appeal was offended by the attorneys’ sneaky behavior designed to avoid an imminent trial by hoodwinking the trial court into signing an order it did not intend.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three (Ikola, J.); October 17, 2017; 2017 WL 5180640.