Some divorce cases are complete nightmares. Especially ones were one side has counsel and the other is pro per se. I really feel for husband’s counsel in this case who must have had their patience tested all throughout. The original case was filed in 2005. This decision was published today (2/23/12), seven years later. In the end, the wife is deemed to be a “vexatious litigant” by the state and is sanctioned for several different reasons. She is sanctioned among other things for “a postjudgment order awarding sanctions against her for appealing an order awarding sanctions against her.” Oh, the irony. The wife also served process on her husband (even though a non-party needs to) and forged the signature of a made up person on the proofs of service. And got caught. She also feigned illness trying to get a continuance and when it didn’t work, walked out of court.
Monthly Archives: February 2012
Triola (who had taken on the last name Marvin–even though they weren’t married) argued that the two had made an oral contract whereby Lee Marvin promised to take care of her. At trial evidence showed that Triola was far from monogamous and Lee was The case went up to the California Supreme Court, which held that as long as the basis for the contract wasn’t meretricious consideration, California courts will enforce contractual agreements for care, support, and division of property in spite of a lack of marriage. That said, the court hardly gave Triola what she deserved–awarding a judgment of just over 100k when she asked for 3.6 million.
This type of claim has come to be known as Palimony, which is a bit of a misnomer. The aggrieved party may also pursue quasi-contractual claims such as quantum meruit or a claim of fraud instead or in addition to the contractual claim that was made by Triola.
In addition to muddying the family law waters, the case gave us this brilliant skit with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin when SNL was still funny.
(If you are still offended by the heading to this article, you clearly didn’t watch the SNL skit above or have absolutely no sense of humor.)
Although I try to keep this blog full of more practical advice, this is more of a technical topic (sorry).
CA Code of Civil Procedure Section 998 generally penalizes a litigant for rejecting a settlement offer that is greater than what a judge or jury awards at trial. Such a litigant gets penalized by paying the other parties costs after the date of the offer they rejected but shouldn’t have in hindsight. I wrote about Texas adopting something exactly like our 998 to fix their litigation problems. We’ll see how that works for them. Note: Texas is turning to California for tort reform ideas.
This is where it gets technical. What happens if you make a 998 offer, then make another 998 offer a month later, then the jury award is less than your second 998 offer? Do you only get costs after the second offer…or do you get all your costs after the first offer? Until last week, courts had always said that the second 998 offer destroys the first and that the litigant is only entitled to costs following the second offer. Well, that was until the Second District Court of Appeals screwed everything up. Their decision is contrary to all the case law out there. The statute itself doesn’t give any direction. So this case is prime for CA Supreme Court review.
In this case, these costs were incurred after the first offer but before the second:
The cost of the power point presentation: $87,282.86 (How does a ppt cost 87k?)
The cost of editing video tape of a deposition: $11,956
The cost of expert fees: $188,536.86
Now you see why it makes a big difference. That must have been one magical powerpoint for eighty-seven grand. For $87k you get buy an overpriced 1966 Chevy Corvette or the Lee Harvey Oswald’s casket. Ok, maybe those are bad examples, but $87k is a lot of money.
The actual lawsuit was about an electrical explosion caused by negligently cutting live electrical wires and leaving them unsecured and exposed.
Technical, boring, and the Court of Appeals screwed up.
Caylee’s law: Don’t report you child missing right away and it may be a crime in Georgia.
Death Penalty: State Senator writes the death penalty law, now sits on state supreme court and is trying to declare the law he wrote unconstitutional. Yeah, that makes sense.
Stay Away From this Cop: Officer James Peters of the Scottsdale Police Department was involved in a fatal shooting in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2006 again, 2010, and now 2012. Oh and the suspect he shot was holding a baby. Awesome.
Don’t get sexually assaulted in Houston: Houston PD has a backlog of over 6,600 rape kits dating back into the 1980’s. The LAPD had a similar problem of over 6,000 rape kits in its backlog, but it fixed that problem last year.
Proposed Arizona educator profanity law: Because we don’t have enough crimes on the books already and it wouldn’t be ridiculously stupid to enforce, an Arizona state legislator has proposed to apply the FCC profanity rules to classroom educators. No word on if teachers could still read The Catcher in The Rye aloud in class or not.
Sometimes the law doesn’t make any sense. Sex offender registration is one of those areas of the law that is so bizarre most people wouldn’t believe it. Any person convicted of any of the crimes listed in California Penal Code Section 290 need to register as a sex offender for life.
I have my own reservations about the sex offender registration system–in that it techincally isn’t a punishment even though it really is, due process protections are scarce, and there is no proven benefit to the whole scheme. It just seems like a big punitive measure taken to make these peoples’ lives hell (which I suppose in some cases isn’t sooo bad).
In this case a 37 year old man had sex with a sixteen year old girl. He branded himself her “love coach.” The shocker: which of the following acts make the man subject to sex offender registry?
A) sending text messages saying: “Can you keep as a secret our secret” and “I missing you”
B) Having sex with a sixteen year old girl.
Well, I suppose my heading gives it all away, but statutory rape does not subject an offender to sex offender registry, while “annoying or molesting a child” does subject this guy to lifetime registry.
If you feel like reading the opinion, here it is, complete with defenses such as “by texting a sixteen year old girl that I loved and missed her I didn’t mean to take advantage of her” and “Oh, I was just joking.”
Losing faith in humanity in 5,4,3,2………….
What legal fees are tax deductible?
- Litigation related to doing or keeping your job. (i.e. wrongful termination, wrongful discrimination, injury to reputation)
- Cost of collecting taxable spousal support.
- Portion of legal fees in divorce attributable to tax advice. (Have your attorney itemize this.)
- Estate planning fees related to income property or general tax planning.
- Fees for recovering personal injury damages—if damages are taxable.
- Costs related to divorce and child support cases, except portion attributable to collecting taxable spousal support. (Have your attorney itemize this.)
- Personal injury lawsuits unless taxable damages are recovered.
- Will contests.
- Title contests. (However—add the legal costs to the tax basis of the property for when you sell the property later.)