In November 2013, we convinced the First District Court of Appeal to overturn trial level judge’s ruling. We felt the trial judge had made an incorrect ruling. This appellate court ruling resulted in the case being dismissed.
We had asked the trial court to dismiss a complaint against our client, the Town of Atherton. The procedure was called a “Demurrer.” The trial court judge, disagreed with our position, which left plaintiffs’ lawsuit intact. Our client was facing a possible $13 million judgment, and upwards of $500,000 in attorney fees, if the case proceeded.
We felt it was appropriate to file a Writ of Mandate with the appellate court. A Writ of Mandate is a unique form of appeal that can be made in limited cases and is only considered in five percent of all filings. An even fewer number are granted by the appellate court. The Writ of Mandate was granted, and the First District Court of Appeal ordered the trial judge to reverse his ruling and enter a new order granting our Demurrer without Leave to Amend, effectively dismissing this case. The plaintiffs appealed this ruling to the California Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court denied plaintiffs’ request, leaving the appellate court ruling to stand. The new order to be entered by the trial judge, as ordered by the appellate court, dismissed the entire lawsuit against the Town Atherton.