Appellant challenged the decision of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County (California), which granted the respondent's motion to disqualify appellant's attorney based on an alleged conflict of interest because of the attorney's prior joint representation of both appellant and respondent.
After the trial court corporate law firm granted respondent's motion to disqualify, appellant challenged the decision. The court reversed holding that respondent had previously consented to the attorney's continued representation of appellant notwithstanding any adversity that developed. The trial court erred in applying the substantial relationship test because the conflict arose after the attorney had jointly represented both the respondent and the appellant. Therefore, the propriety of disqualification turned upon the scope of the clients' consent and the respondent had previously signed a detailed consent form authorizing such continued representation. Moreover, appellant presented evidence demonstrating that respondent's unreasonable delay in bringing the motion to disqualify had caused prejudice to appellant. The labor law attorney san diego will help you in all labor law matters and issues.
The court reversed the judgment of the trial court and held that respondent was not entitled to a judgment disqualifying its prior attorney from representing appellant because respondent had previously consented to the continued representation of appellant in the event of a conflict.
Appellant state controller sought review of the decision of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County (California), which ordered the state to pay attorneys' fees in the matter of a contested inheritance tax, from the funds of the Office of the State Controller and directed that the payment be made from the 1985-1986 budget of the state of California or from other appropriated funds.
An inheritance referee reported that decedent's estate owed inheritance taxes. Respondent executors objected to the taxes because the inheritance tax was repealed by a local proposition. The appellate court held that the imposition of inheritance taxes was precluded as to deceased. Upon remand, respondents were awarded attorneys' fees under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1021.5. After appellant informed respondents that attorneys' fees were limited, they sought to collect the attorneys' fees from the State Board of Control, which requested monies to pay the award from the then current budge act. That collection effort failed when the appropriation was deleted. The lower court ordered that the attorneys' fees be paid from the 1985-1986 budget. The court reversed the lower court's order because it violated the separation of powers doctrine insofar as it directed the controller to pay an amount in excess of those restrictions.
Furthermore, no party pointed to appropriations other than line-item 9810-001-001 of the 1985 Budget Act which were available for payment of respondents' fee award. Consequently, the lower court's order was overbroad.
The court reversed the lower court's order to pay a sum in the matter of contested inheritance tax, from the funds of the Office of the State Controller from the 1985-1986 budget of the state of California or from other appropriated funds because payment of those funds violated the constitutional separation of powers doctrine.