New CA Case Regarding Jury Trials

 
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Trial

California's Constitution guarantees parties the right to a jury trial. However. a party can waive this important. Last month, the Fourth District Court of Appeal published a new case addressing whether the failure of an attorney to comply with local superior court pre-trial rules can result in a waiver of the right to a jury trial. A video discussing the case is above and my summary of the case is below.

New Trial Decision  

Amato v. Downs (2022) 78 Cal.App.5th 435: The Court of Appeal reversed a judgment for defendant, following a bench trial, in plaintiff's action alleging several causes of action based upon the claim that defendants had led him to sell a house for less than its actual value. Plaintiff was an attorney who participated in the case as both a party and an attorney, with the assistance of another attorney. On the day of trial, the trial court found that plaintiff had waived his right to a jury trial by failing to comply with a local pretrial procedural rule. It then denied plaintiff's request that a different judge hear the case due to the trial judge's involvement in pretrial settlement negotiations. After plaintiff presented his evidence, the court granted a motion for judgment (Code of Civil Procedure, section 631.8) in favor of defendants on all of plaintiff's claims. The Court of Appeal concluded the trial court erred in denying plaintiff a jury trial. The trial court lacked the authority to deem plaintiff's violation of the local rule a waiver of plaintiff's right to trial by jury, and the trial court properly imposed the penalty on plaintiff without prior notice to, and an opportunity to be heard by, the party against whom the penalty was sought to be imposed. (C.A. 4th, May 6, 2022.)

My California Case Summary™ Publications

California Case Summaries Monthly™:  short summaries (one paragraph), organized by legal topic, of every new civil case published California courts every month.  

California Case Summaries Quarterly™: short, organized summaries of every new civil case, published by California courts every quarter, with the official case citations. 

 
Annual Practice Area Case Summaries™: Every January, we publish Annual Practice Area case summaries for the areas of Employment, Real Property and Torts with short, organized summaries of every new civil case in each practice area (plus additional important legal topics), with the official case citations. 

California Case Summaries Annual™short, organized summaries of every new civil case published the year before, with the official case citations, published every January.  

Join Our Email List: To get on our email list to find out when we'll next make new subscriptions available, and to get my free summaries of the 22 new civil cases published by the California Supreme Court in 2021, click here.


Mediation, Arbitration and Referee Services

I help attorneys and their clients as a mediator, arbitrator and referee with ADR Services, Inc. I handle cases in the areas of business, employment, insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, landlord-tenant (commercial and residential), legal malpractice, medical malpractice, personal injury, real property and wrongful death via Zoom services throughout California and also in-person services. I've been a California civil trial lawyer since 1980 and a member of ABOTA since 1995. I've represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil cases including the areas listed above. If you'd like to work with me, please contact my case manager at ADR services, Haward Cho, [email protected], (213) 683-1600.  


 


Stay safe and healthy.

Best regards,
Monty A. McIntyre, Esq.
California Case Summaries™
Mediator, Arbitrator & Referee
CA Civil Trial Attorney Since 1980
ABOTA Member Since 1995
Past President San Diego County Bar Assn., SD ABOTA Chapter
Phone: (619) 990-4312. Email: [email protected] 

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