This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 11/16/2015 at 00:04:21 (UTC).

ROBERT C. BARAL VS. DAVID SCHNITT, ET AL

Case Summary

On 12/16/2011 ROBERT C BARAL filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against DAVID SCHNITT. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DAVID L. MINNING and MAUREEN DUFFY-LEWIS. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5350

  • Filing Date:

    12/16/2011

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

DAVID L. MINNING

MAUREEN DUFFY-LEWIS

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

BARAL ROBERT C.

Defendants

DOES 1-100

IQ BACK OFFICE LLC

SCHNITT DAVID

SJFTB

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

SAUER GERALD L. ESQ.

STEPHEN J. RIGGS

WEXLER GARY A. ESQ.

Defendant Attorneys

ERVIN COHEN & JESSUP LAW OFFICES OF

LIEB MICHAEL C. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF MOTION AND SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CERTAIN ALLEGATIONS IN THF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO CCP ? 425.16; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

2/22/2013: NOTICE OF MOTION AND SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CERTAIN ALLEGATIONS IN THF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO CCP ? 425.16; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CERTAIN ALLEGATIONS IN THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO CCP ? 425.16

10/31/2013: REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CERTAIN ALLEGATIONS IN THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO CCP ? 425.16

PROOF OF SERVICE RE ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF ROBERT BARAL'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY ENFORCEMENT OF WRIT OF EXECUTION AND SPECIALLY SET HEARING AND BRIEFING SCHEDULE FOR MOTION TO RECALL AND/OR QU

2/26/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE RE ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF ROBERT BARAL'S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY ENFORCEMENT OF WRIT OF EXECUTION AND SPECIALLY SET HEARING AND BRIEFING SCHEDULE FOR MOTION TO RECALL AND/OR QU

Minute Order -

9/21/2018: Minute Order -

Minute Order - (Jury Trial)

10/16/2018: Minute Order - (Jury Trial)

Response - Response to Objections to Calculation of Prejudgment Interest in Support of [Proposed] Judgment and [Proposed] Judgment

1/14/2019: Response - Response to Objections to Calculation of Prejudgment Interest in Support of [Proposed] Judgment and [Proposed] Judgment

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (MINUTE ORDER RE: STATEMENT OF DECISION) of 01/24/2019

1/24/2019: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for Minute Order (MINUTE ORDER RE: STATEMENT OF DECISION) of 01/24/2019

Judgment

2/19/2019: Judgment

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF ROBERT BARAL'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL AND JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT

3/27/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF ROBERT BARAL'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL AND JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT

Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed - APPEAL - NOTICE OF APPEAL/CROSS APPEAL FILED "X"

6/17/2019: Appeal - Notice of Appeal/Cross Appeal Filed - APPEAL - NOTICE OF APPEAL/CROSS APPEAL FILED "X"

CIVIL DEPOSIT

9/27/2012: CIVIL DEPOSIT

STIPULATION TO STAY CASE AND VACATE HEARING DATE AND ORDER THEREON

10/18/2012: STIPULATION TO STAY CASE AND VACATE HEARING DATE AND ORDER THEREON

NOTICE OF RULING RE CONTINUANCE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE AND VACATING HEARING OF PLAINTIFF?S MOTION TO LIFT DISCOVERY STAY

9/17/2013: NOTICE OF RULING RE CONTINUANCE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE AND VACATING HEARING OF PLAINTIFF?S MOTION TO LIFT DISCOVERY STAY

PREVIOUSLY FILED DECLARATIONS OF DAVID SCHNITT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STAY CASE PENDING APPEAL

2/11/2014: PREVIOUSLY FILED DECLARATIONS OF DAVID SCHNITT IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STAY CASE PENDING APPEAL

NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON PLAINTIFF ROBERT BARAL?S MOTION FOR RECOVERY 0 ATTORNEYS? FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF $99,700.21

3/11/2014: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE OF HEARING ON PLAINTIFF ROBERT BARAL?S MOTION FOR RECOVERY 0 ATTORNEYS? FEES IN THE AMOUNT OF $99,700.21

CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

9/17/2015: CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT -

REMITTITUR

5/2/2017: REMITTITUR

STIPULATION RE INCREASED PAGE LIMITS FOR BRIEFS RELATING TO DAVID SCHNITT'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS

10/18/2017: STIPULATION RE INCREASED PAGE LIMITS FOR BRIEFS RELATING TO DAVID SCHNITT'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS

513 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/04/2020
  • Hearing06/04/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Status Conference

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  • 06/04/2020
  • Hearing06/04/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 47 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion to Tax Costs

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  • 01/23/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Quash (Writ of Execution) - Held

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  • 01/23/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 47, Randolph M. Hammock, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Sanctions - Held

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  • 01/23/2020
  • DocketRuling-Motion to Quash Writ of Execution/Motion for Sanctions; Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/23/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion to Quash Writ of Execution; Hearing on Moti...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/23/2020
  • DocketStipulation and Order to use Certified Shorthand Reporter; Filed by Robert C. Baral (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/15/2020
  • DocketReply (REPLY TO SANCTIONS); Filed by David Schnitt (Defendant)

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  • 01/15/2020
  • DocketReply (REPLY TO MOTION); Filed by David Schnitt (Defendant)

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  • 01/09/2020
  • DocketOpposition (Plaintiff Robert Baral's Opposition to Motion for Sanctions); Filed by Robert C. Baral (Plaintiff)

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934 More Docket Entries
  • 01/17/2012
  • DocketDEFENDANTS NOTICE OF DEMURRERS AND DEMURRERS TO PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT; 1EMORANI)UM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF

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  • 01/17/2012
  • DocketREQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 01/17/2012
  • DocketRequest for Judicial Notice; Filed by David Schnitt (Defendant); SJFTB (Defendant); IQ Back Office LLC (Legacy Party)

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  • 12/21/2011
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS&COMPLAINT

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  • 12/21/2011
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Robert C. Baral (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/21/2011
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS&COMPLAINT

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  • 12/21/2011
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Robert C. Baral (Plaintiff)

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  • 12/16/2011
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. BREACH OF ORAL CONTRACT; ETC

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  • 12/16/2011
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 12/16/2011
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Robert C. Baral (Plaintiff)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC475350    Hearing Date: January 23, 2020    Dept: 47

Robert Baral v. David Schnitt

(1) MOTION TO QUASH WRIT OF EXECUTION; (2) MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: (1)-(2) Defendant David Schnitt

RESPONDING PARTY(S): (1)-(2) Plaintiff Robert Baral

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS AND/OR PROCEEDINGS:

Plaintiff alleged that Defendant sold Plaintiff’s interest in a company, IQ, which they co-owned, without Plaintiff’s authorization, although Defendant retained an interest in the company.

Defendant David Schnitt moves to quash the writ of execution issued on Plaintiff’s judgment and for $16,600 in sanctions.

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant David Schnitt’s motion to quash the writ of execution is GRANTED.

Defendant’s motion for sanctions is DENIED.

Motion To Quash Writ of Execution

Defendant moves to quash a writ of execution issued October 9, 2019, on the judgment entered in favor of Plaintiff on February 19, 2019. Defendant argues that the writ is invalid because the Court granted his motion for a new trial in part, and therefore the judgment has been vacated.

Defendant is correct. It is well settled law that, “[w]hen a court grants a partial new trial, ‘the new trial order has the effect of vacating the entire judgment and holding in abeyance the portions which are not subject to a new trial until one final judgment can be entered.’” (Newstart Real Estate Investment LLC v. Huang (2019) 37 Cal.App.5th 159, 163 (quoting Beavers v. Allstate Ins. Co. (1990) 225 Cal.App.3d 310, 329).)

Plaintiff argues that the judgment remains in effect because the parties have appealed the order granting a new trial. Plaintiff cites Beavers, supra, for the proposition that “[o]ne effect of an order granting a new trial is, of course, to vacate the judgment; however, when an appeal is taken from such an order the vacating effect is suspended, and the judgment remains effective for the purposes of an appeal from the judgment.” (Beavers, supra, 225 Cal.App.3d 330 (citation omitted; bold emphasis added).) Plaintiff’s interpretation of this case ignores the qualification that the judgment “remains effective for the purposes of an appeal from the judgment.” (Ibid.) Indeed, the court explains that the “judgment retains sufficient vitality to support appellate review if the matter is otherwise properly brought before the appellate court.” (Ibid.) This exception does not overcome the general rule that granting even a partial new trial vacates the judgment.

Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to quash the writ of execution is GRANTED.

Motion for Sanctions

Defendant also seeks sanctions under CCP § 128.5 based on Plaintiff’s “frivolous” action in seeking to enforce the vacated judgment via the writ of execution.

Under CCP § 128.5, the Court may order a party, the party’s attorney, or both to pay the “reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by another party as a result of actions or tactics, made in bad faith, that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.” (CCP § 128.5(a).) “Actions or tactics” include, but are not limited to, the “making or opposing of motions or the filing and service of a complaint, cross-complaint, answer, or other responsive pleading.” (CCP § 128.5(b)(1).) “Frivolous” means “totally and completely without merit or for the sole purpose of harassing an opposing party.” (CCP § 128.5(b)(2).)

The Court notes first that Newstart, supra, does not support Defendant’s argument for a reason that Plaintiff does not raise: the sanctions awarded in Newstart were in connection with a motion to quash subpoenas, not in connection with a motion to quash a writ of execution. (Newstart, supra, 37 Cal.App.5th at 162.) Although the subpoenas were related to the effort to enforce the judgment, an order of sanctions in connection with a motion to quash a subpoena is not the same thing as sanctions in connection with a motion to quash a writ of execution, and Defendant overstates the holding of Newstart in contending that the trial court in that case awarded sanctions due to the plaintiff’s “persist[ence] with its efforts to enforce the judgment.” (Motion, at p. 10.) That quote from Newstart is in connection with the court’s cautionary statement that “it was inclined to award sanctions in the future if plaintiff persisted with its efforts to enforce the judgment.” (Newstart, supra, 37 Cal.App.5th at 162.) The court never did so, other than in connection with the subpoenas, despite the plaintiff’s repeated efforts to enforce the judgment. (Ibid.)

Defendant is correct that sanctions may be imposed in connection with a writ of execution. (Park Magnolia v. Fields (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d Supp. 1, 6.) In Park Magnolia, however, as in Newstart, the plaintiff had caused the defendant to incur expenses in connection with multiple efforts to enforce the judgment: “defendant incurred reasonable expenses to have the default and default judgment set aside, the writ of possession quashed, and the municipal court’s $2,900 condition vacated.” (Ibid.) The defendant in that case did not merely attempt to dissuade the plaintiff to file a writ of execution and then move to quash it.

An order pursuant to section 128.5 “shall be limited to what is sufficient to deter repetition of the action or tactic or comparable action or tactic by others similarly situated.” (CCP § 128.5(f)(2). If “imposed on motion and warranted for effective deterrence,” the sanction may include “an order directing payment to the movant of some or all of the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses incurred as a direct result of the action or tactic described in subdivision (a).” (Ibid.) “Whether a court makes an award under section 128.5 is a matter within its sound discretion.” (Park Magnolia, supra, 191 Cal.App.3d Supp. at 4; Rains v. Superior Court (1984) 150 Cal.App.3d 933, 944.)

Here, although Plaintiff’s opposition to the motion to quash the writ of execution was without merit, as discussed above, the Court does not find that Plaintiff opposed the motion frivolously or in bad faith. Although the line of cases Plaintiff cites is inapplicable in this context, neither party cited to any case arising in this exact procedural context. Ultimately, the Court does not believe that sanctions are necessary here to deter repetition of this tactic, especially given that Plaintiff had not already made repeated attempts to enforce the judgment, unlike the plaintiffs in Defendant’s cited cases.

In addition, it is well established that a trial court has the discretion to deny a request for attorney’s fees altogether, even when an award of fees is required by law, when the request for fees is grossly excessive and/or shocks the conscience of the court

“A fee request that appears unreasonably inflated is a special circumstance permitting the trial court to reduce the award or deny one altogether.” (Serrano v. Unruh (1982) 32 Cal.3d 621, 635 [186 Cal. Rptr. 754, 652 P.2d 985]; accord, Ketchum v. Moses (2001) 24 Cal.4th 1122, 1137 [104 Cal. Rptr. 2d 377, 17 P.3d 735].)  

(Chavez v. City of Los Angeles (2010) 47 Cal.4th 970, 990-991 (bold emphasis added).) Here, even if Defendant were entitled to an award of “reasonable” attorneys’ fees and costs, a request for $16,600.00 is excessive. Nor would there be any basis on which to impose sanctions directly on Plaintiff for his counsel’s decision to pursue an improper writ of execution. Request fees against “Plaintiff and/or his counsel of record herein” also strikes the Court as overreaching.

Accordingly, the motion for sanctions is DENIED, both on the basis that the Plaintiff’s attorney has acted with “substantial justification,” and that it would be unjust to impose sanctions against anyone under these facts and circumstances.

Moving Party to give notice, unless waived.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated: January 23, 2020 ___________________________________

Randolph M. Hammock

Judge of the Superior Court

Any party may submit on the tentative ruling by contacting the courtroom via email at Smcdept47@lacourt.org