Friday, March 14, 2014

Hail Mary, Fail

Brown v. American Bicycle Group, No. D063268 (D4d1 Mar. 11, 2014)

In the published part of this opinion, the court holds that a trial judge is not required to disclose his ownership of stock in non-party insurance companies just because the defendant is insured. Plaintiff—who first raised the issue in a new trial motion after losing on the merits at trial—waived the objection by failing to seek writ relief after a timely recusal motion. And in any event, the information did not need to be disclosed because it did not suggest any basis for a recusal for cause. The fact that plaintiff claimed that the information might have been material to a decision on whether to file a peremptory strike under Code of Civil Procedure § 170.6 did not merit disclosure. The relevant ethical canons address disclosure of information that might give rise to a cause challenge, not a § 170.6 strike. The court then goes on—as has been happening all week—to resolve some interesting evidence issues in an unpublished part of the opinion.


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