Dissenting Justice Did Not Think Sanctions Were Appropriate Based on Inadequate Appellate Record.
In Hasso v. J&J Real Estate Holdings, Case No. E054774 (4th Dist., Div. 2 Dec. 11, 2014) (unpublished), the majority of an appellate court panel imposed $19,945 in defense appellate fees against appellant’s attorney, payable to the defense, and $8,500 in costs payable to the court clerk for the time spent by the court in working up the matter after determining that the appeal was frivolous. (See Kleveland v. Siegel & Wolensky, LLP, 215 Cal.App.4th 534, 560 (2013) [noting an increasing trend to assess frivolous appeal costs and have money paid to the court clerk to compensate taxpayers for having to pay for court time to work on the appeal found to be frivolous, with $8,500 an appropriate figure].)
However, although concurring in the merits of the appeal ruling, Justice King wrote a dissent, reasoning that sanctions should be used sparingly and that the lack of an adequate appeals record—the main basis for the sanctions—did not mean there was a corresponding lack of merit to the appeal. Here is what he said at the end of his dissent: “Counsel’s failure to provide a complete record, while clearly inexcusable, does not rise to the level of sanctionable conduct. We often get appeals where the record is incomplete, there is a failure to cite authority, a failure to cite to the record, or the inclusion of extraneous matters having nothing to do with the appeal. It is simply part of a process which is intended to offer litigants their day in court and due process.” (Dissenting Slip Opn., p. 5.)