Court of Appeal Also Chastised Respondent For Relying on Non-California Authorities in Attempting to Sustain Result.
Sadr & Barrera, APLC v. Cyriacks, Case No. D058417 (4th Dist., Div. 1 Feb. 28, 2012) (unpublished) is a situation where an appellate court reversed a Civil Code section 1717 attorney’s fees award to a default judgment plaintiff based on in pro per attorney representation in violation of Trope v. Katz, 11 Cal.4th 274, 279 (1995).
So far, so good. However, the opinion went further--chastising the respondent law firm for relying on non-California authorities to support its position when Trope was controlling. Here is what the appellate panel had to say: “‘Arguments should always be supported by California authorities whenever there is such authority on point. [Citation omitted.] A party has a duty to ‘[b]e “up front” about cases that appear to be against your position . . . . Your failure to confront unfavorable holdings will be regarded as an attempt to deceive and mislead the court.’ [Citation omitted.]” Wowie, be on guard everyone, and make sure you cite California authority when it exists.