Appellant patron sought review of a decision of the Fifth Appellate District Court of Appeal (California), which reversed the
trial court's dismissal of appellant's personal injury suit against
respondent cocktail lounge owners. The trial court had dismissed the
suit based on violations by appellant's attorney of local court rules.
Appellant patron's personal injury suit against respondent cocktail lounge owners was dismissed after appellant's Hire corporate lawyer
committed numerous violations of local court rules that had been
promulgated to implement the 1990 Trial Court Delay Reduction Act, Cal.
Gov't Code §§ 68600 et seq. (Act). The court of appeal
reversed, holding that the grant of power under Cal. Gov't Code
§ 68608(b) to dismiss actions was not intended to change the
rule, previously enacted at Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 575.2(b),
prohibiting dismissal as a sanction when rule violations were
attributable to counsel rather than the party. The supreme court
affirmed the court of appeal, reasoning that Cal. Gov't Code §
68608(b), by its terms conferred only sanctioning powers "authorized by
law," thus incorporating the limitation under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code