Friday, September 5, 2003
Appeals Court Imposes $3,000 Sanction on Lawyer
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Court of Appeal has imposed a $3,000 sanction on Dana Point attorney Shannon Roberts Boyd for pursuing a meritless appeal of an order denying his motion to vacate an Idaho judgment against him for legal malpractice.
Writing for the Fourth District’s Div. Three, Justice Raymond Ikola noted that the sum was “probably well below the norm,” but explained that “the issue presented is straightforward and the law pertaining thereto is well established and unequivocal.”
Boyd contended the Idaho court lacked personal and subject matter jurisdiction. The assertion was twice rejected by the Idaho trial court, and spurned by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California when Boyd filed an action there against the Idaho judge and the judgment debtor and his lawyer.
Orange Superior Court Judge John M. Watson denied Boyd’s motion to vacate the entry of a sister state judgment, labeling the motion “an impermissible horizontal appeal of the Idaho judgment” and an attempt “to re-argue and adjudicate the same issues of jurisdiction which should have been appealed in the Idaho Court of Appeals.”
Affirming Watson’s order, Ikola’s opinion, which was unpublished, said:
“Notwithstanding his having been told the same thing four times by the courts of two states and the United States, Boyd has repeated his jurisdictional challenge in this court. As an attorney, however, he has reason to know that the law governing our disposition is firmly established and not open to rational dispute. ‘[W]hen the court of the first state has expressly litigated the question of jurisdiction, its determination is res judicata and is itself protected by the full faith and credit clause.’”
Ikola faulted Boyd’s appellate brief-saying it “contains sparse authority with little, if any, bearing on the points presented”-and noted the court could have stricken it.
With respect to the sanction, Ikola said “the degree of objective frivolousness and delay is extremely high and the need to discourage like conduct in the future is compelling.” Both Boyd and the appeals court’s clerk were ordered to report the sanction to the State Bar.
The case is Reiss v. Boyd, G030687.
Boyd could not be reached for comment.
The judgment debtor did not file an appellate brief.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company