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(And what does Vin Diesel have to say about arbitrations?)

By Kathi M. Sandweiss, Jaburg Wilk

As Dominic Toretto says: “Ask any racer, any real racer, it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning’s winning.”  “Fast and Furious” is the tenth highest-grossing film series ever, with a combined gross of over $5.8 billion (according to Wikipedia).  The franchise includes action films, short films, a television series, live shows, video games and theme park attractions.  With money and theme park attractions, there will be litigation. And with litigation there are contract disputes.  And with contract disputes

  • The first question I’m typically asked by a prospective appellate client is “How can we tell the appellate court about all the emails from my ex-husband (credit card receipts,  nasty texts) my lawyer refused to present, despite my pleas?”  The answer is, we can’t.  An appeal is based on the record presented to the trial court.  Any evidence that is not in the record will not be considered on appeal, and any argument or objection not properly preserved is typically waived on appeal.  While there are certain exceptions, such as constitutional or jurisdictional arguments,  the

    For writers of any legal briefs, there is hardly anything more frustrating than finally finding a case on point, in our jurisdiction, with a “correct” holding to support our argument, but unpublished.¹ More than 85% of the decisions in the 9th Circuit are unpublished. For the fiscal year 2017, in Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals, a total of 621 civil cases were terminated, with only 69 (11%) by published opinion.²
    Federal courts have allowed citation of unpublished decisions since 2007. Only those unpublished decisions issued after January 1, 2007 may be cited. See Rule 32.1, Federal Rules
    Continue Reading What Exactly is That Rule About Unpublished Decisions and Can’t We Cite Them Now?

    This may not be a book my new grandson Felix will soon be reading, but it does raise a legitimate question:  When you really, truly, believe a federal appeal is frivolous, and not just garden variety, I know you’re going to lose, please don’t make me spend my client’s money defending, but truly a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad appeal, can you obtain sanctions under Federal Rule 11? If not, what is the most effective  way to obtain sanctions for  a frivolous appeal?
    The short answer is that you can seek sanctions under Appellate Rule 38 (by separate motion
    Continue Reading Sanctions and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Appeal

    Right now, I have two dizzying concepts in mind:  First, in about four weeks, I am about to become a first-time grandmother. Second, the types of changes currently being made to the appellate rules will not even be a blip to my grandson when he’s a lawyer in about 25 years. The amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure,  effective December 1, 2016, arise, for the most part, out of changes in technology.   Some of the amendments refine prior Rules that, while taking into account technology, were nevertheless skeptical of its efficacy and reliability.
    For example, it is now
    Continue Reading Grandbabies and Appellate Rule Changes

    When you think about it, an amicus brief – “friend of the court” is a quite agreeable concept.  As a non-party to the case, with no direct interest in the outcome, you can explain to the court – as a friend, not a litigant – why its ultimate decision has larger ramifications.  Last March, 212 members of Congress made news by filing an Amicus Brief in the United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. Edith Schlain Windsor, the challenge to Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage
    Continue Reading BFF’s With the Court: How Can My Group Be a Friend of the Court?

    I will be presenting at the State Bar of Arizona’s annual ‘Working with the Court of Appeals” (WCCA), a CLE taking place on Friday, November 14th at the Hotel Palomar in Phoenix, Arizona from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    I am presenting the first seminar titled ‘How Not to Lose Your Appeal Before It Starts: Jurisdiction, Taking an Appeal and Preserving the Record’.
    Attendees will learn about the new appellate rules going into effect Jan. 1, 2015, how to best work with appellate clerks, what influences judges in briefs and oral argument, how to structure and write your brief, when to take
    Continue Reading ‘Working with the Court of Appeals’ Seminar 11/14

    “The medical marijuana is actually for the caregiver,” my dad explained. I did not know that. “Everyone knows that,” he assured me, having discovered as much in his support group. My mother was dying of lung cancer, and in the full throes of cancer pain, helped very little by Vicodin, Oxycontin, or even morphine. My dad had been awake most of the night for weeks, caring for his wife of 51 years. Pain has a sound, and he heard it. All night. This was back in the early days of California’s Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Medical
    Continue Reading Don’t Bogart That Medical Marijuana, My Caregiver.

    This is the wedding announcement to the world that our kind, smiling, infinitely patient IT person Ash is getting married. She and Amber have been together seven years and they had the wedding planned anyway, in San Diego, but now Judge Sedwick has impliedly blessed it. Ash, with the calm but no nonsense demeanor. Ash, of the “did you try rebooting already” school of business. Ash and Amber. In a four page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick has changed their lives.
    Judge Sedwick ruled that Arizona’s ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional and refused to grant a
    Continue Reading Ash and Amber are Getting Married! (Judge Sedwick says so)