Monday, October 14, 2013

An Extraordinary Writ Indeed

City of Bell v. Superior Court, B247362 (D2d3, as modified, Oct. 25, 2013)

In the civil litigation over the the well-remunerated tenure of Robert Rizzo as the city manager of Bell, Rizzo sought a declaration that the City was required to provide him with a defense in the various other litigations against Rizzo, including litigations brought by the city itself. After the trial court struck the City’s jury demand on that claim, the court of appeal entertained the City's writ on whether it was entitled to a jury trial. But the court never reached the jury issue, because, after taking up the writ, ordering a response, issuing an OSC, and ordering supplemental briefing on a host of different issues, it decided that, as a matter of law, the City did not need tender a defense, so no trial was necessary. The opinion isn’t of particular note procedurally, but it is an interesting exception to the general rule about the limited willingness of appellate courts to entertain writ review. Writ granted.

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