by Scott Zwartz
July 11, 2015
. California courts are organized in a pyramid. There are hundreds of trial court rooms at the bottom. They’re the ones you see on TV, like Law and Order. They usually have juries.
. Overseeing the hundreds of trial courts are six (6) Courts of Appeal, and above them, there is one (1) Supreme Court.
. A primary job of the the Supreme Court is to resolve conflicts of opinions among the six appeals courts. We cannot have one appellate court’s saying that spousal battery is okay and another appeals court’s saying spousal battery is bad. Thus, when two appellate courts give different opinions on the same matter, the California Supreme Court can “take” the cases and decide which one is correct.
. A rogue court in the Fourth Appellate District (San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange County areas) issued an opinion on June 12, 2015 in the case of Martinez v CalTrans. In this off the wall opinion, Justices Bedsworth, Moore and Thompson held that attorneys should not make personal ad hominem attacks on people.
The rule also manifests itself by prohibiting irrelevant ad hominem attacks. Thus a defense attorney commits misconduct in attempting to besmirch a plaintiff‟s character. (Pellegrini v. Weiss (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 515, 531; Stone, supra, 106 Cal.App.3d at p. 335.) Attorneys are not to mount a personal attack on the opposing party even by insinuation. (Las Palmas Associates v. Las Palmas Center Associates (1991) 235 Cal.App.3d 1220, 1246.) Martinez, at page 9
. As Zwartz Talk has previously pointed out, Justice Turner of the Second Appeals Court has a different view point (http://bit.ly/1LLyTz1). Justice Turner agrees with trial court Judge Torribio that California judges have a constitutional right to allow attorneys to attack people on the basis of their religious beliefs, and furthermore, judges have a constitutional right to exclude attorneys who “refuse Jesus Christ.”
. The reason the Fourth District is out to lunch from the Supreme Court’s perspective is that in California, there is no limitation on what judges may do and allow in their courtrooms. Due to the manner in which the California Supreme Court has managed its judicial system, the federal judiciary has pointed out that the California judges have created an epidemic of attorney misconduct.
. The California Supreme Court has made clear that it has no intention of reigning in judicial prerogatives to do whatever a judge wants within his/her courtroom. Now, these up-starts in the Fourth District have the nerve to assert that judges have the duty to stop bias and prejudice from the courtroom. This recent aberrant case infringes on Justice Turner’s opinion that judges are free to use their religious biases in weighing evidence, in determining witness credibility, and in deciding which attorneys may be excluded from judicial proceedings. In HELP v Superior Court (http://bit.ly/1LLyTz1), attorneys who refuse Jesus Christ are troublemakers who may be excluded from side conferences which the judge holds with Christian attorneys.
. What is the Supreme Court going to do with two conflicting opinions from lower courts? The Supreme Court now has this Fourth District case condemning the use of bias. The Fourth District court went so far as to report the abusive attorney to the State Bar, while Justice Turner of the Second Court of Appeals is agreeing that maligning people on religious grounds is a Constitutional right.
. If Martinez v CalTrans court is correct that judges are supposed to stop attorneys from expressing bias and prejudice, then the judge’s constitutional right to have evidence weighed in the light of a religious test is impaired. If this Fourth District opinion is allowed the stand, judges will lose the right to have a witness’ religion used to determine his credibility. Worst of all, if this Fourth District opinion stands, judges may be forced to allow Jews into their courtrooms. What then becomes of Justice Turner’s belief that trial court judges have the right to have their courtrooms Judrein?
. The victim in Martinez v CalTrans was not a nazi as the CalTrans attorney pretended, but rather he was a Christian minister. Thus, it was wrong to call him a “nazi.”
. The attorney in HELP v Superior Court, however, was a Jew! Because the Jew charge was true, Judge Torribio had his constitutional right to protect his courtroom.
. Thus, there is no conflict for the California Supreme Court to resolve — Nazis and Jews are still bad. Jesus Believers are good. See how simple life is for a California Supreme Court justice?