Friday, July 28, 2017
Court of Appeal Affirms Summary Judgment Without Examining Merits
Says Appellant’s Brief, Filed by an Attorney, Is Too Shoddy to Consider
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Third District Court of Appeal yesterday ordered publication of a June 28 opinion in which it affirmed a judgment, without discussing the merits of the appeal, based on the inadequacy of the appellant’s opening brief, filed by a Chico attorney.
The attorney, Stacie L. Power of the firm of “Power Law,” filed no reply brief.
Justice Elena J. Duarte disposed of the appeal in a 440-word opinion. She castigated the attorney for failing to set forth what the applicable standard of review was and “[m]ore importantly,” failing “to provide any legal authority to support her arguments.”
She acknowledged that Power did cite the statute that renders the summary judgment in favor of the defendant appealable, and alluded to a case cited by the trial court in its tentative ruling. However, Duarte continued:
“Putting aside the fact that Ewald’s counsel both fails to cite that case properly and fails to provide an accurate citation to where the document citing that case can be found in the record on appeal, the trial court did not even cite to that case in the final ruling. Further, Ewald’s counsel does not explain the holding of that case, nor does counsel explain why that case has any relevance to her claims on appeal, to the extent we can decipher them.”
The jurist faulted the lawyer for arguing the viability of two causes of action without discussing their elements.
“In light of counsel’s egregious violations of basic appellate norms,” Duarte said, “we affirm the judgment without discussing the merits.”
Ewald’s case is one of six related cases, and appears to stem from a foreclosure on his Palm Desert property.
Power, who was admitted to the State Bar in 2011, received her law degree from McGeorge School of Law.
Elizabeth Holt Andrews and Jan T. Chilton of Severson & Werson represented the respondent.
The case is Ewald v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, C081760.
Copyright 2017, Metropolitan News Company