Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3d DCA Watch -- Springtime for Bunker!


It's Springtime in the bunker and reversals are flowering everywhere!

Let's deeply inhale:

Deutsche Bank v. Santiago:

Judge Leesfield improperly directed a verdict for borrowers in a foreclosure action before the bank rested its case:
In these facts, the trial court erred when it ordered an involuntary dismissal of the foreclosure action before the bank had rested its case. The governing rule of civil procedure provides for an involuntary dismissal for lack of evidence only “[a]fter a party seeking affirmative relief in an action tried by the court without a jury has completed the presentation of evidence.” Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.420(b) (2012).  Simply put, “it is error to direct a verdict before a plaintiff has completed presentation of his evidence.”
Sure sure that's technically true, but I'm slightly sympathetic to the judge here.

Would it be so wrong if a judge, upon hearing bullcrap testimony from a party just said hold on, this is nonsense, and dismissed the whole thing sua sponte?

Isn't that how they used to do things around here?

Steiner Transocean v. Efremova:

Judge Schumacher improperly limited himself on a motion to dismiss to the four corners of the complaint.

Wait -- what?
As a general rule, when considering a motion to dismiss, a trial court is limited to the allegations within the four corners of the complaint and any attachments. However, there are several exceptions to this general rule. For example, a court is permitted to consider evidence outside the four corners of the complaint where the motion to dismiss challenges subject matter jurisdiction or personal jurisdiction, or where the motion to dismiss is based upon forum non conveniens or improper venue. A motion to dismiss based on a contractual forum selection clause is similar, in many respects, to a motion to dismiss for improper venue. We can discern no reason for treating them differently for purposes of applying the exception to the “four corners” rule.
Slippery, meet my old friend Slope.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

on fire today SFL

Anonymous said...

Whose the pic of? Dennis Murphy?

Anonymous said...

L.S.D.

Juan Ramirez, Jr. said...

On the Deutsche Bank case, there is a long line of decisions that prevent judges from dismissing a case after listening to part of the testimony of the first witness. It is more than just technically true. Talk about slippery slope! It would be like that old show: "Name That Tune" I can rule on your case after listening to opening statements. No wait. I can do it after listening to the first three sentences. One person's bullcrap is another person's right to due process. Sorry, I cannot agree with you on this one.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Thanks for your comment, judge. I was (mostly) joking.