Lower Court Could Not Expunge By Enforcing Settlement In Same Underlying Action.
A trial judge in Martinez v. Mayberry, Case No. A142385 (1st Dist., Div. 3 Mar. 24, 2015) (unpublished) expunged some attorney liens in enforcing a settlement agreement upon motion by defense and new plaintiff counsel (counsel other than former plaintiff’s counsel having the liens). This one was reversed on appeal based upon a jurisdictional issue. A trial court in an underlying action has no jurisdiction to determine the validity or existence of an attorney lien, especially since an attorney cannot intervene in the action and the lien issue must be adjudged in a separate action. No different result occurred just because the trial judge did so in the context of a settlement enforcement motion in the same underlying action. (Carroll v. Interstate Brands Corp., 99 Cal.App.4th 1168, 1173 (2002).)