The avant garde of the crusade to strip owners of property rights continues, with this latest failed experiment into novel legal theory---that the rent is too high. Apparently titllated by the propsect of a long trial on a pipedream of an idea (even more draconian business regulations), it took an appellate court's clear but simple analysis to derail the lower court's foray into legal fantasy--that the "rent is too high." Mistaking the courtroom for the halls of congress, the political issue was tried to a jury with predicatble results. Yes, the jury said the rent was way "too high." The appellate court swatted them all from this fever dream, with a rather muted but caustic finding:
". . . we [all members of the 3 justice panel] are aware of no authority for the proposition that the contracting party receiving payment of money can be held liable on a negligence theory for charging a price that the contract expressly allows. The jury's compensatory damage award based primarily on high rent is not sustainable as damages. . . "
Read the opinion here: https://files.constantcontact.com/df579599001/645e9631-d6cb-4288-a4be-8fd2050df286.pdf
If California justice system really cared about promoting justice, a procedure would exist to screen and validate such claims before trial. Obviously it takes appellate review to keep trial judges, doing the best they can with their intellectual prowess no doubt, in line with recognized, settled law. Cases like this should be scrutinized before millions are spent for a cause dead on arrival. Architects' claims are screened, as are claims of attorney conspiracies (why are we not surprised the trial lawyers are protected?).
Trial was not necessary for many of these claims. The theories advanced were bereft of substance in the first instance---says the appellate court. There is nothing wrong in cuffing lawyers to valid theory, but no one seems to care. What a shame. Well, as the saying goes, at least the lawyers made out okay.
The system erodes public confidence in the court system. A robust screening and validation procedure could have been resolved this action, in large part, without the monstrous expense on both sides for a trial.
And now, the millions in attorney's fees awarded is reversed. The park owners prevail at this juncture. The tenants owe the attorney's fees to the defense. Could that fact make anyone listen harder?