In In re: Marriage of Taeb, the court issued sanctions to an attorney for her failure to appear before the court ready to proceed with trial.
The trial for this case had been set on February 7. Ten days before the set trial date attorneys for both parties contacted the court to let the court know that they were ready to proceed with trial. The court calendar was cleared for the date of the trial.
The attorney for the Petitioner did not appear at the trial. She was appearing at a different trial and could not make it to the hearing. The attorney for the Respondent complained that the Petitioner had failed to comply with other requirements of the trial setting order such as failing to provide copies of exhibits, a trial brief, and an income and expenses declaration. The Respondent’s attorney filed a motion for sanctions against the attorney and accused her of tactical delay. The court granted the motion for sanctions. The attorney appealed the order.
The First District Court of Appeals upheld the order. It held that counsel knew at the time that she called the court–ten days before the trial–that her other hearing would take longer than expected. In addition, she did not comply with court orders in providing the required documents before trial. The court further held that those actions were tantamount to the subjective bad faith required under section 128.5 of the California Civil Code of Procedure.
California Civil Code of Procedure section 128.5 (a): A trial court may order a party, the party’s attorney, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. This section also applies to judicial arbitration proceedings under Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1141.10) of Title 3 of Part 3.
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Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not address other factors which may play a significant role in a particular dissolution. Circumstances in your divorce may alter the results in your dissolution.
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