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Civil Litigation - Private
Judge Block just released what may be the most stupefying and grotesque appellate opinion one will ever come across, while sitting by designation on the Ninth Circuit. The issue on appeal was whether the district court abused its discretion in not giving the State of California defendants the opportunity to develop an issue during discovery that they neglectfully didn't develop when they had the opportunity to do so. Judge Block turned that issue into a de novo review of the underlying question that the State wanted to conduct discovery on, decided that he could address the underlying issue because the State of California (the party that would benefit from him doing so) said it was permissible, decided the issue in the first instance (on appeal!) even though neither party had developed it through discovery at the trial court level and the record was devoid of any real evidence on the matter, issued a ruling against the plaintiff on a political question that the statute of limitations ran out on forty years ago (if there ever was one), and created quite possibly the worst Indian law opinion to come out from a federal court in the past twenty years -- which is saying a lot, considering the current make-up of the Supreme Court. Everyone should take a look at the opinion in question before they have to appear before this guy. It's titled Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, No. 10-17803 (9th Cir. Jan. 21, 2014). What the opinion tells me is that Judge Block either has a blatant disregard for precedent, rules of procedure, the fairness of proceedings, and the rights of litigants, or he has some very serious prejudices that he needs to deal with in a professional setting.
7/15/19, 2:13 AM
Hon. Frederic Block
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