May It Please The Court

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May It Please The Court
by Leonard Rivkin
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Quote of the Day - Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence he is just using his memory. - Leonardo da Vinci
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New Category In The Law: Why Appeal?

In the category of "Why did this case get appealed?", we get the State of California whining about taking its lumps after an unfavorable verdict.  Let me set the stage:  when the State designs roads that are unsafe, it typically gets held liable for the resulting injuries to the motorist. 

The State lost in this case, and the appellate court upheld the trial court's decision.  What is most troubling about the State's appeal, however, is that it cited no authority for one of the issues it took up on appeal:  the application of joint and several liability (each party is liable in full if the other party is unable to or does not pay).  The other troubling aspect of the tersely worded six-page opinion is the court's very quick and unrepentant application of the collateral source rule (a potentially liable party is not entitled to offset its liability with payments made to the victim by another party unrelated to the lawsuit, like an insurance company, or in this case, an employer). 

Has CalTrans learned its lesson yet?

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, April 16, 2006 at 23:25 Comments (0)


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