Category - Civil Procedure

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California Complex Civil Litigation Superior Court Panels
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Trial Evidence Limitations Imposed on Request for Admission Denials
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Riverside County Superior Court To Designate One Courtroom To Handle Complex Litigation
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Builder’s Alternative Non-Adversarial Pre-Litigation Procedures Are Enforceable And Homeowner Compliance Is Required Prior To Initiation Of Litigation

California Complex Civil Litigation Superior Court Panels

By: Richard H. Glucksman, Jon A. Turigliatto, and David A. Napper
November 24, 2014
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The Complex Civil Litigation Program is relatively new as it has only existed in California since 2000. Complex divisions dedicate courtrooms solely for litigation of complex civil cases that require exceptional judicial management including construction defects, antitrust, securities, toxic torts, mass torts, and class actions. Complex civil courtrooms help the trial court operate in a more efficient, expeditious, and effective manner. A complex court reduces costs for litigants by streamlining motion practice and expeditiously resolving discovery disputes.

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Trial Evidence Limitations Imposed on Request for Admission Denials

By: Craig A. Roeb and Grace A. Nguyen
Published in Verdict Magazine – Download Article
June 10, 2015

In a matter of first impression in California, an appellate court has concluded that a party to litigation cannot use another party’s denial of Request for Admissions as impeachment at trial. On January 13, 2015, in Gonsalves v. Li, 2015 WL164606, the First District Court of Appeal overturned a $1.2 million jury verdict after the plaintiff’s attorney repeatedly examined the defendant over his denials of admission requests that had been propounded in the case.

In Gonsalves, plaintiff, Kenneth Gonsalves, worked as a sales consultant at a BMW dealership.  He filed an action against Ran Li and Xiaoming Li after Ran Li lost control of a BMW that he was test-driving, with Gonsalves and Xiaoming Li as passengers. After Ran Li turned onto a freeway on-ramp, he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to spin into a guardrail.  Gonsalves sued Ran Li for motor vehicle negligence, and sued Ran’s father, Xiaoming Li, for negligent supervision.  Xiaoming was later dismissed from the action. 

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Riverside County Superior Court To Designate One Courtroom To Handle Complex Litigation

By: Richard H. Glucksman and David A. Napper
November 12, 2014

Riverside County Superior Court expects to consolidate complex civil litigation into one courtroom by early 2015. Many other counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco, Sacramento, Alameda, and Santa Clara already have designated complex civil litigation courtrooms. Riverside Court Superior Court currently distributes the complex cases among 10 civil judges, most of which are handled by seven judges at the Main St. Riverside courthouse location.

Riverside Judge Sharon Waters stated that “[i]t’s been something that I personally have felt has been long overdue” and that “[t]he idea is that put it with one judge and let him or her develop the expertise.” Judge Waters believes “[t]he potential value of establishing a complex litigation courtroom [is that] it allows the judge to focus on the cases full time.”1

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Builder’s Alternative Non-Adversarial Pre-Litigation Procedures Are Enforceable And Homeowner Compliance Is Required Prior To Initiation Of Litigation

The McCaffrey Group, Inc. v. Fresno County Sup. Ct. 2014 WL 1153392 (Cal.App.5 Dist.)

By: Jon A. Turigliatto and David A. Napper
April 14, 2014

There have recently been several appellate decisions avoiding the application and enforcement of the Right to Repair Act, California Civil Code §895 et seq. (“SB800”). Generally, SB 800 applies to all new residential construction sold after January 1, 2003. SB 800 provides builders with the right to inspect and repair construction defects before homeowners are permitted to initiate litigation. Similarly, SB 800 allows homeowners to seek repairs by a builder without having to initiate litigation.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that homeowners must comply with the builder’s alternative non-adversarial pre-litigation procedures prior to initiating construction defect litigation. , which include providing notice of the claim, giving McCaffrey an opportunity to repair and correct, and participating in nonbinding mediation.

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