Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Comedy at the Courthouse.

As an appellate attorney, I get to argue appeals in the various Courts of Appeal in the State. Yesterday, I was honored to appear in the Second District Court of Appeal, which sits in downtown Los Angeles.

Three interesting anecdotes arose from my latest foray into appellate law. Thus, this post begins a three-part series on the experience.

When the matter directly before mine was called, I noticed a gentleman striding to podium wearing black sneakers and black jeans. However, he topped off the ensemble with a suit jacket. Nice touch. He also bore a striking resemblance to Andre 3000 of OutKast.

In any event, he announced he was representing himself. As a "pro per", he gets to try to navigate through the treacherous waters of law and procedure on his own. His opening argument demonstrated the general folly of representing oneself. He took the opposition's "Respondent's Brief." As he arrived at each heading, he would read it, and then pronounce it "moot." He offered no analysis or argument, just a conclusion that it was "moot." This amounted to a pretty standard "pro per" performance.

However, after the Respondent spoke for a few minutes, it returned to "Andre's" turn. One of the justices asked him a question about whether he filed a government claim under the Tort Claims Act. All of a sudden, Andre turned into Perry Mason, or at least Bobby Donnell of the The Practice.

He peppered his remarks with appropriate uses of legalese, such as "causes of action" and adjudications. He spoke of "case law," and the statutory requirements of tort claims filings against government entities. He ultimately turned in an impressive performance. If the issue (and it was hard to tell precisely) was whether "Andre" filed a timely, conforming tort claim, it appears he might actually prevail.

Pretty cool.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In the News, Part IV.

For those of you following my "blood oath" case (and there are legion given the coverage in the LA Times, KFWB, and the AP, among other things), here's a scoop.

On Friday, August 25, 2006, the defense again requested that the Court dismiss the fraud claim. The fraud claim seeks damages in excess of US$5 million, so it's of particular consequence to the parties.

In short, this aspect of the case pertains to the promises or representations that my client asserts the defendant made to get him to invest 170 million won into the defendant's Korean clothing company in 2003. The operative complaint states that the Plaintiff was promised that if he advanced this money he would receive ten (10) percent of a company capitalized at 500 million won, among other things. (FAC, para. 18.)

Yesterday, the court overruled the defendant's demurrer (like a motion to dismiss), and the case moves forward with all causes of action intact--default of promissory note/breach of contract, money had and received, and fraud.

Trial is set for February 26, 2007.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Preaching to the Choir.

We had some excitement outside our mid-rise office building today.

A group of unionized janitors protested the building management's decision to hire a nonunionized cleaning service. I was intrigued by all the noise, activity and excitement. I especially was curious about their message.

However, as I got closer I realized all the chants were in Spanish.

Too bad. I'm sure they had something interesting to say, but almost no tenant at the building could understand it.

Who then were they speaking to? Seems llike a perfect example of "preaching to the choir."

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Major Announcement, Part VII.

The major announcement?

This website is a harbinger of things to come:
Yes, it'll be Dr. Radcliffe, shortly.

More details to follow.