Appeal Deemed Frivolous, With Reminding Words of Wisdom to Those Choosing to Appeal.
Justice Yegan of the Second District, Division 6 on behalf of a 3-0 panel, has penned a decision with some sobering reminders on the nuances of appellate practice, and is likely going to be quoted down the line.
In re Marriage of Greenberg, Case No. B226064 (2d Dist., Div. 6 Apr. 28, 2011) (certified for publication) affirmed a $2,800 sanctions award against husband under Family Code section 271. The reason is that husband could not come close to beating the abuse of discretion standard, opting to represent himself in pro per and ignoring the factual findings that lead to the resultant award. Bad choices.
Here are some of Justice Yegan’s “gems” from this opinion:
*”Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘He who represents himself has a fool for a client.’ Here, the client is an attorney who represented himself in the trial court. He now represents himself on appeal. He is unschooled on the basics of appellate law, suggesting that Lincoln’s observation applies on appeal.”
*”We also warned the bar [in In re Marriage of Martin (1991) 229 Cal.App.3d 1196, 1200, 20 years ago] that sanctions could be ordered for appeals based upon a theory asking to substitute our judgment for that of the trier of fact. As we said then and we repeat now, ‘no one seems to listen.’ (Id., at p. 1200.) We are ever hopeful that appellate lawyers are listening.”
*”Husband, a pro per attorney, suffers from a lack of objectivity. (Estate of Gilkison (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 1443, 1448-1450 [‘tunnel vision’]. He would have been well served to read Gilkison before invoking the appeal process. This appeal is frivolous.”
The sanctions award was affirmed, and the appellate court referred the affirmed order to the State Bar for investigation (although indicating that the Star Bar should determine if any discipline is merited).