Adjunct Law Prof Blog posted Monday about a CNN story (with link) regarding how justices on the U.S. Supreme Court take “potshots” at each other in their written opinions. Coincidentally, on the same day came Cuccia v. Superior Court, case no. B197278 (July 16, 2007), in which the Court of Appeal opens with this mild zinger directed at the trial judge:
The doctrine of stare decisis requires a trial court to follow an unambiguous published holding of the Court of Appeal, even if the trial court believes that the appellate opinion was erroneously decided. This, we had assumed, was fairly obvious to every trial court judge; that is, until now.
Judges are people, too. They make honest mistakes all the time. Indeed, my livelihood depends on it.
I guess that every once in a while the Court of Appeal decides that the trial judge needs something just a little bit more attention-getting than the typical, neutral-sounding opinion.