Appellate Jurisdiction,  Appellate Procedure,  California Procedure,  Notice of Appeal

Notice to One of Multiple Attorneys Suffices to Trigger Deadline to Appeal

It’s not that uncommon to see a party represented in a lawsuit by more than one law office. That party often requests service of documents be made on all of its attorneys.

Notwithstanding such a request, the court of appeal holds in Adaimy v. Ruhl, case no. B193745 (2d Dist. Feb. 28, 2008) that the mailing of notice of entry of judgment to just one of multiple firms representing a party triggers the deadline for that party to file its notice of appeal.

Adaimy claimed the notice of entry of the order denying his new trial motion was ineffective, thus giving him 180 days from the date of entry of judgment to file his notice of appeal (rather than the shorter period of 30 days from notice of entry). (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.108(a).) The court finds, however, that as long as one of Adaimy’s attorneys received notice, it was effective notice and due process was satisfied. Adaimy thus had only 30 days to file his notice of appeal. Since he filed it on the 31st day, his appeal is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

A costly lesson in the jurisdictional nature of the notice of appeal.

UPDATE: The Court of Appeal modified the opinion and addressed whether the notice of entry was sufficient to give notice. See this blog post