This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 02/21/2021 at 13:01:02 (UTC).

ROBERTO GOMEZ VS REAL ESTATE CONSULTING & SERVICES INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 05/05/2014 ROBERTO GOMEZ filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against REAL ESTATE CONSULTING SERVICES INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are FREDERICK C. SHALLER, STEPHANIE M. BOWICK, HOLLY E. KENDIG and ELAINE LU. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****4728

  • Filing Date:

    05/05/2014

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

FREDERICK C. SHALLER

STEPHANIE M. BOWICK

HOLLY E. KENDIG

ELAINE LU

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

GOMEZ ROBERTO

Defendants and Respondents

DOES 1 THROUGH 50

GONZALEZ TERESA

KIMBALL TIREY & ST. JOHN LLP

REAL ESTATE CONSULTING & SERVICES INC.

SCHLERT KARL P.

SCHLECHT KARL P.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

BEWLEY LASSLEBEN & MILLER LLP

ANDERSON LEIGHTON MORSE

BRADY DAVID ALAN

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

THE ALBERTS FIRM APC

WATSON HOUSTON M. II

HOLLINS LAW

KIMBALL TIREY & ST. JOHN LLP

NEVERS GARY W. ESQ.

LAYFIELD & WALLACE

ALBERTS FIRM APC

ORTIZ ABEL WILLIAM

SCHLECHT KARL PATRICK

LANDERS THOMAS FRED JR

GORDON ELI ALLEN

STRICKLAND LEAH SUZANNE II

 

Court Documents

Response - RESPONSE DEFENDANT KIMBALL, TIREY & ST. JOHN'S REPONSE TO PLAINTIFF ROBERTO GOMEZ' DECLARATION RE OSC RE DISMISSAL AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

12/15/2020: Response - RESPONSE DEFENDANT KIMBALL, TIREY & ST. JOHN'S REPONSE TO PLAINTIFF ROBERTO GOMEZ' DECLARATION RE OSC RE DISMISSAL AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHORTENING TIME ON DEFENDANT KIMBALL TIREY & ST. JOHN'S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF'S DEPOSITION AND FOR SANCTIONS

12/16/2020: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHORTENING TIME ON DEFENDANT KIMBALL TIREY & ST. JOHN'S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF'S DEPOSITION AND FOR SANCTIONS

Declaration - DECLARATION OF THOMAS F. LANDERS

12/16/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF THOMAS F. LANDERS

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: SETTING OF MANDATORY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE) OF 01/07/2021

1/7/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER RE: SETTING OF MANDATORY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE) OF 01/07/2021

Opposition - OPPOSITION ROBERTO GOMEZ OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL APPEARANCE AT DEPOSITION AND MOTION FOR SANCTIONS.

1/14/2021: Opposition - OPPOSITION ROBERTO GOMEZ OPPOSITION TO MOTION TO COMPEL APPEARANCE AT DEPOSITION AND MOTION FOR SANCTIONS.

Proof of Service by Mail

1/28/2021: Proof of Service by Mail

DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF ATTORNEY'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL-CIVIL

7/20/2018: DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF ATTORNEY'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL-CIVIL

Other - - Other - MINUTE ORDER

10/1/2018: Other - - Other - MINUTE ORDER

Minute Order - Minute Order (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

12/6/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (TRIAL SETTING CONFERENCE)

Declaration

2/25/2019: Declaration

DEFENDANTS REAL ESTATE CONSULTING & SERVICES, INC. AND TERESA GONZALEZ?S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

6/6/2014: DEFENDANTS REAL ESTATE CONSULTING & SERVICES, INC. AND TERESA GONZALEZ?S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

6/26/2014: PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY -

8/18/2014: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY -

NOTICE OF LODGEMENT IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE (C.C.P. ? 425.16)

9/5/2014: NOTICE OF LODGEMENT IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE (C.C.P. ? 425.16)

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY-CIVIL (WITHOUT COURT ORDER)

10/21/2014: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY-CIVIL (WITHOUT COURT ORDER)

DEFENDANTS' KIMBALL, TIREY & ST. JOHN, LLP AND KARL P. SCHLECHT'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

2/9/2015: DEFENDANTS' KIMBALL, TIREY & ST. JOHN, LLP AND KARL P. SCHLECHT'S REPLY TO OPPOSITION TO SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT

Minute Order -

2/18/2015: Minute Order -

RULING

4/13/2015: RULING

166 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/21/2021
  • Hearing06/21/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 26 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 05/24/2021
  • Hearing05/24/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department 26 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 04/16/2021
  • Hearing04/16/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department 207 at 9355 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210; Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketNotice of Limited Scope Representation; Filed by Roberto Gomez (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/04/2021
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Roberto Gomez (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/28/2021
  • DocketProof of Service by Mail; Filed by Kimball, Tirey & St. John, LLP (Defendant)

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  • 01/28/2021
  • DocketNotice (of Ruling regarding Defendant Kimball, Tirey & St. John, LLP's Motion to Compel Plaintiff's Deposition and for Sanctions); Filed by Kimball, Tirey & St. John, LLP (Defendant)

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  • 01/27/2021
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 26, Elaine Lu, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Sanctions (DEFENDANT KIMBALL, TIREY & ST. JOHN, LLP?S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF?S DEPOSITION AND FOR SANCTIONS) - Held

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  • 01/27/2021
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Sanctions DEFENDANT KIMBALL, TIREY & ST...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/27/2021
  • DocketOrder (RE: MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF ROBERTO GOMEZ?S DEPOSITION); Filed by Clerk

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297 More Docket Entries
  • 06/06/2014
  • DocketDEFENDANTS REAL ESTATE CONSULTING & SERVICES, INC. AND TERESA GONZALEZS ANSWER TO COMPLAINT

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  • 05/29/2014
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 05/29/2014
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/14/2014
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 05/14/2014
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Roberto Gomez (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/14/2014
  • DocketPROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 05/14/2014
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Roberto Gomez (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/05/2014
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR MALICIOUS PROSECUTION

    Read MoreRead Less
  • 05/05/2014
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Roberto Gomez (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/05/2014
  • DocketSUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC544728    Hearing Date: January 27, 2021    Dept: 26

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

Department 26

roberto gomez,

Plaintiff,

v.

Real estate consulting & services inc., et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.: BC544728

Hearing Date: January 27, 2021

[TENTATIVE] order RE:

motion to compel Plaintiff roberto gomez’s deposition

Background

On May 5, 2014, Plaintiff Roberto Gomez (“Plaintiff”) filed the instant action against defendants Kimball, Tirey & St. John, LLP (“Defendant”), Karl P. Schlecht, Teresa Gonzalez, and Real Estate Consulting & Services, Inc.[1] for malicious prosecution.

On December 15, 2020, Defendant filed the instant motion to compel the deposition of Plaintiff. On December 17, 2020, the Court granted Defendant’s ex parte application to advance the hearing date for this motion. On January 14, 2021, Plaintiff filed an opposition. On January 20, 2021, Defendant filed a reply.

Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure § 2025.450(a) provides: “If, after service of a deposition notice, a party to the action . . . , without having served a valid objection under Section 2025.410, fails to appear for examination, or to proceed with it, or to produce for inspection any document . . . described in the deposition notice, the party giving the notice may move for an order compelling the deponent’s attendance and testimony, and the production for inspection of any document . . . described in the deposition notice.” 

Code of Civil Procedure § 2025.450(b) provides: “A motion under subdivision (a) shall comply with both of the following: 

  1. The motion shall set forth specific facts showing good cause justifying the production for inspection of any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing described in the deposition notice. 

  1. The motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040, or, when the deponent fails to attend the deposition and produce the documents, electronically stored information, or things described in the deposition notice, by a declaration stating that the petitioner has contacted the deponent to inquire about the nonappearance.” 

Code of Civil Procedure § 2025.450(c) provides, “(1) If a motion under subdivision (a) is granted, the court shall impose a monetary sanction . . . in favor of the party who noticed the deposition and against the deponent or the party with whom the deponent is affiliated, unless the court finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” 

Under Code of Civil Procedure § 2023.030(a), “[t]he court may impose a monetary sanction ordering that one engaging in the misuse of the discovery process, or any attorney advising that conduct, or both pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. . . . If a monetary sanction is authorized by any provision of this title, the court shall impose that sanction unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.”  Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery is a misuse of the discovery process.  (CCP § 2023.010(d).) 

Meet and Confer

Code of Civil Procedure § 2025.450 requires the motion to be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Code of Civil Procedure § 2016.040. (CCP § 2025.450.) Code of Civil Procedure § 2016.040 provides that “[a] meet and confer declaration in support of a motion shall state facts showing a reasonable and good faith attempt at an informal resolution of each issue presented by the motion.” (CCP § 2016.040.)

Here, Defendant has adequately met and conferred. (Landers Decl. ¶¶ 11-16, Exs. 7-11.)

Discussion

On August 27, 2020, Defendant served Plaintiff with the second amended notice of deposition. (Landers Decl. ¶ 5, Ex. 2.) The second amended notice of deposition set an in-person deposition following all COVID-related health guidelines, within a mile of Plaintiff’s residence for September 17, 2020 at 10:00 am. (Landers Decl. ¶ 5, Ex. 2.) The deposition notice also requested the production of documents. (Landers Decl. Ex. 2.) On September 8, 2020, Defense Counsel emailed Plaintiff to confirm Plaintiff’s attendance at the deposition. (Landers Decl. ¶ 6, Ex. 3.) After receiving no response, Defense Counsel called and emailed Plaintiff to confirm his attendance at his scheduled deposition, but Plaintiff did not respond. (Landers Decl. ¶ 7, Ex. 4.) On September 17, 2020, after the deposition was scheduled to start and prepared to start, Plaintiff contacted Defense Counsel that Plaintiff would not attend due to a medical condition. (Landers Decl. ¶ 8.) Accordingly, Defendant took a Certificate of Non-Appearance of Plaintiff on September 17, 2020. (Landers Decl. ¶ 9, Ex. 5.) Later that day, Plaintiff served and filed with the Court, Plaintiff’s Notice of Inability to Attend Deposition. (Landers Decl. ¶ 10, Ex. 6.) After attempting numerous meet and confer efforts to set up a deposition with Plaintiff, Defendant filed the instant motion to compel deposition. (Landers Decl. ¶¶ 11-16, Exs. 7-11.)

In opposition, Plaintiff contends that the failure to appear at the deposition on September 17, 2020 was not an abuse of the discovery process. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that: (1) Plaintiff is unable to participate without an attorney present, (2) Plaintiff was unable to attend a court session in person because of severe health problems, and (3) Plaintiff was unable to file an objection because the hearing date for any motion would be after the then scheduled hearing date. These contentions are without merit.

As to Plaintiff’s first contention, it is immaterial that Plaintiff is self-represented as “pro per litigants are not entitled to special exemptions from the California Rules of Court or Code of Civil Procedure.” (Gamet v. Blanchard (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 1276, 1284.) Rather, in pro per litigants are “entitled to treatment equal to that of a represented party.” (Ibid.) There is no rule or requirement that a litigant must be represented to appear at a deposition. Moreover, Plaintiff initiated this action and is therefore obligated to complete discovery. Thus if Plaintiff wishes to be represented, Plaintiff must timely obtain representation.

As to Plaintiff’s inability to attend due to health conditions, Plaintiff’s Notice of Inability to Attend Deposition provides a doctor’s note that states in sum that Plaintiff is in a high-risk category for COVID-19 and recommends that Plaintiff be allowed to delay having to be in a courtroom with many other people until the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Landers Decl. Ex. 6.) Notably, Plaintiff’s doctor’s reference to allowing Plaintiff to “delay having to be in a courtroom with many other people” is inapplicable to the noticed deposition here, which includes only a minimal number of participants – without jurors or court staff -- in a socially distanced setting. Appearing for deposition simply would not have entailed exposing Plaintiff to “many other people,” as mentioned in Plaintiff’s doctor’s note. Indeed, the deposition was scheduled at a court reporter’s office within a mile of Plaintiff’s residence under conditions in compliance with COVID-related health guidelines and with extensive COVID precautions in place, including a properly socially distanced conference room with all participants wearing masks. (Landers Decl. ¶ 5.)

Moreover, Plaintiff’s doctor's note is dated August 19, 2020-- nearly a month before the deposition was scheduled to take place. (Landers Decl. Ex. 6.) Thus, Plaintiff knew about this health issue for nearly a month but failed to notify Defendant of this health issue, which would have allowed the parties to discuss what accommodations could be made to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in light of Plaintiff’s health issues. Nor did Plaintiff provide Defendant any warning that Plaintiff would not be attending the deposition, forcing Defendant to incur unnecessary expenses.

Plaintiff’s final contention -- that a motion for objection to the deposition could not be heard until after the trial date – is equally unavailing. First, any objection to the deposition notice should have been served on Defendant -- not filed with the Court. Further, Plaintiff could have filed a motion for a protective order, and Plaintiff could have then immediately filed an ex parte application to advance the hearing on Plaintiff’s motion for a protective order. Plaintiff did not pursue either of these avenues. Indeed, Plaintiff failed to even contact Defendant’s Counsel to meet and confer regarding these issues.

In sum, Plaintiff knew of both his health condition and lack of representations within two days of being served the deposition notice yet failed to object, file a protective order, or even simply notify Defendant of Plaintiff’s intention of not attending the deposition. Rather, Plaintiff knew of these issues for nearly a month prior to the deposition date and failed to respond to Defendant's multiple attempts to confirm the deposition until after the deposition started. Plaintiff’s conduct is particularly egregious as the Court had informed Plaintiff at a prior hearing that sanctions would be mandatory under CCP section 2025.480 unless Plaintiff acted with substantial justification, and the Court urged Plaintiff to schedule the deposition with Defense Counsel. (Landers Decl. ¶ 2.) Despite this, Plaintiff failed to contact Defense Counsel to reschedule his deposition. (Landers Decl. ¶ 2.)

Accordingly, Defendant’s motion to compel the deposition of Plaintiff is GRANTED. However, in light of the current state of the unprecedented public health crisis, including the current incidence of infection, ease of spread, mode of transmission, mortality, and availability of ICU beds in Los Angeles County, and in light of Plaintiff’s health condition, as expressed in Plaintiff’s physician’s note, the court concludes that that it is necessary to allow Plaintiff to opt for the deposition to occur by remote means, as expressly authorized pursuant to newly enacted Code of Civil Procedure, section 2025.310.[2] (See Code of Civil Procedure, section 2025.310(b) [“At the election of the deponent or the deposing party, the deposition officer may attend the deposition at a different location than the deponent via remote means. A deponent is not required to be physically present with the deposition officer when being sworn in at the time of the deposition.”].)

At the hearing on this motion, the Court allowed Plaintiff to state in court whether Plaintiff opts for the deposition to occur by remote means or in person. The Court explained that if Plaintiff elects a remote deposition, the onus would fall on Plaintiff to ensure that the location from which he logs in for the remote video deposition has a strong enough internet signal to allow the deposition to occur smoothly and without interruption. It will not be an excuse not to complete the deposition if Plaintiff does not arrange in advance to log in for the remote video deposition from a location with a strong enough internet signal to allow the deposition to occur smoothly and without interruption. In response, Plaintiff stated that he understands, and Plaintiff stated in court that he chooses a remote deposition over an in person deposition. In light of Plaintiff’s election of a remote deposition, Defendant requests that the remote deposition be set for February 8, 2021 at 10:00 am via video. Plaintiff is ordered to appear remotely for a video deposition on February 8, 2021 at 10:00 am. Plaintiff requests that Defendant send to Plaintiff’s email address, which Plaintiff identifies as SantaMonicaGent@aol.com, the instructions on how to log in for the deposition via the video platform. Plaintiff identifies his current mailing address as 1930 Stewart Street Space G-5, Santa Monica, CA 90404. The parties stipulated in court today to a test run of the video connection on February 4, 2021 at 12 noon. Pursuant to the parties’ stipulation, the parties are ordered to log in and conduct a test run of the video platform on February 4, 2021 at 12 noon. No later than January 29, 2021, Defendant shall email to Plaintiff’s email address instructions for logging in to the video platform for the February 4, 2021 test run and for logging in for the January 29, 2021 remote video deposition, with a courtesy copy mailed to Plaintiff’s mailing address.

Sanctions

Defendant requests sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure sections 2025.480 and 2023.010 for misuse of discovery against Plaintiff.

Under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.480, “[t]he court shall impose a monetary sanction . . . against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel an answer or production, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (CCP § 2025.480(j).) Similarly, under Code of Civil Procedure 2023.010, it is a misuse of the discovery process to fail to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery. (CCP § 2023.010(d).)

For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiff’s failure to attend the noticed deposition is a clear misuse of the discovery process. Plaintiff’s arguments in opposition are without merit. Code of Civil Procedure section 128.7 is inapplicable, and it is immaterial for purposes of sanctions whether Plaintiff is indigent. The Court finds that the amount requested -- $7,962.50 – is excessive in light of the simple nature of the motion. The Court finds that the amount of $4,964.50 more accurately reflects the costs of the missed deposition ($362 [reporters fees] + $197.50 [fees incurred in obtaining the certificate of non-appearance]+ travel fees [5 hours at $395 per hour] + $60 [filing fees] + attorney’s fees reasonably incurred for preparation and filing of the instant motion and reply and appearance at the hearing [6 hours at $395 per hour].

Plaintiff Roberto Gomez is ordered to pay Defendant Kimball, Tirey & St. John, LLP sanctions totaling $4,964.50, through Defendant’s counsel, within 30 days.

CONCLUSION AND ORDER

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s motion to compel the deposition of Plaintiff is GRANTED. Plaintiff Roberto Gomez is ordered to appear for deposition with any necessary health precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, within ten (10) days of notice of this order at a date and time noticed by Defendant.

Plaintiff Roberto Gomez is ordered to pay Defendant Kimball, Tirey & St. John, LLP sanctions totaling $4,964.50, through Defendant’s counsel, within 30 days.

At the hearing today, Plaintiff stated that he elects to have his deposition occur remotely. Per Defendant’s request, Plaintiff’s remote deposition is set for February 8, 2021 at 10:00 am via video. Plaintiff is ordered to appear remotely for a video deposition on February 8, 2021 at 10:00 am. The parties stipulated in court today to a test run of the video connection on February 4, 2021 at 12 noon. Pursuant to the parties’ stipulation, the parties are ordered to log in and conduct a test run of the video platform on February 4, 2021 at 12 noon. No later than January 29, 2021, Defendant shall email to Plaintiff’s email address instructions for logging in to the video platform for the February 4, 2021 test run and for logging in for the January 29, 2021 remote video deposition, with a courtesy copy mailed to Plaintiff’s mailing address.

The parties have not complied with the Court’s January 7, 2021 order regarding scheduling and attending a mandatory settlement conference. Within 24 hours, the parties are to meet and confer and to contact the Judicial Assistant for the Honorable Helen Zukin in Dept. 207 (310 281-2427) to schedule a mutually convenient mandatory settlement conference.

Plaintiff filed the instant action on May 5, 2014 – more than six years ago, and Plaintiff has yet to appear for deposition. Trial is set for June 21, 2021 – less than five months from now – and simply cannot be further continued as the five-year date for bringing this action to trial pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 583.310 expires in August 2021. Plaintiff is forewarned that if Plaintiff willfully violates his discovery obligations and thereby thwarts

Defendant’s ability to prepare for trial, Plaintiff could be subject to evidentiary, issue, or terminating sanctions.

The Moving Party is ordered to provide notice of this order and file proof of service of such.

DATED: January 27, 2021 ___________________________

Elaine Lu

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] On May 11, 2015, defendants Teresa Gonzalez and Real Estate Consulting & Services, Inc. were ordered dismissed from the case. (Order 5/11/15.)

[2] The Court takes judicial notice of the following from the LA County Daily COVID-19 Data website for January 27, 2021, found at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/data/index.htm: 7-day daily average testing positivity rate of 13.2%, past 7-day average of 291 daily deaths, 6,307 past 3-day average of hospitalized COVID-19 confirmed patients. The Court takes judicial notice of the following from the LA County Health Services website, found at http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/dhs/1070348_DHSCOVID-19Dashboard.pdf: 36 total remaining available ICU beds in Los Angeles County as of January 27, 2021.

Case Number: BC544728    Hearing Date: June 22, 2020    Dept: 26

IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT PHYSICAL DISTANCING AND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, THE COURT STRONGLY ENCOURAGES ALL COUNSEL AND ALL PARTIES TO APPEAR REMOTELY FOR NON-TRIAL AND NON-EVIDENTIARY MATTERS, INCLUDING THIS MOTION.

Plaintiff Roberto Gomez’s counsel, T. Sean Butler (“Counsel”), moves to be relieved as counsel of record for Plaintiff Roberto Gomez (“Client”). Counsel filed the instant motion to be relieved as counsel on February 10, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this hearing was continued from March 20, 2020 to June 22, 2020.

Counsel has filed forms MC-051 and MC-052 and has lodged with the Court a copy of the proposed order on form MC-053 pursuant to CRC Rule 3.1362.

Counsel served Client by mail. Counsel also served this motion on all other parties in the case.

Counsel states that was unable to obtain the consent of the client, that they are unable to meaningfully communicate, and there has been a breakdown in the attorney client relationship

Counsel is ordered to electronically file a corrected proposed order on form MC-053 prior to the June 22, 2020 hearing. Based on the notice of motion and the declaration filed by Counsel, the Court is inclined to grant the motion. However, the proposed order on form MC-053 must be updated to reflect a new trial setting hearing which the Court hereby sets for July 10, 2020 at 9 am. The proposed order must list Client’s mailing address, phone number, and if available, email address, for service in item 6. The proposed order must also identify all upcoming hearings and list the address of the Court in all items. The proposed order on form MC-053 must list:

Case Number: BC544728    Hearing Date: April 29, 2020    Dept: 26

IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, DEPARTMENT 26 WILL ALLOW APPEARANCES BY COURT CALL FOR ALL HEARINGS OTHER THAN EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS AND TRIAL. Thus, the court will allow telephonic appearance by Court Call for the instant motion.

Plaintiff Roberto Gomez’s counsel, T. Sean Butler (“Counsel”), moves to be relieved as counsel of record for Plaintiff Roberto Gomez (“Client”). Counsel filed the instant motion to be relieved as counsel on February 10, 2020.

Counsel has filed forms MC-051 and MC-052 and has lodged with the Court a copy of the proposed order on form MC-053 pursuant to CRC Rule 3.1362.

Counsel served Client by mail. Counsel has also served this motion on all other parties in the case.

Counsel states that was unable to obtain the consent of the client, that they are unable to meaningfully communicate, and there has been a breakdown in the attorney client relationship

Counsel is ordered to appear at the hearing and submit (1) proof of timely service of the Court’s March 18, 2020 minute order or other notice of the continued (April 29, 2020) hearing date on all parties, including Client and Defendants’ Counsel; and (2) a corrected proposed order on form MC-053. Based on the notice of motion and the declaration filed by Counsel, the Court is inclined to grant the motion. However, Counsel must demonstrate that all parties (including Client) have received timely notice of the continued (April 29, 2020) hearing date by electronically filing a proof of service before the hearing. In addition, the proposed order lodged with the Court has not been properly completed, and thus, Counsel must electronically file a corrected order on form MC-053.

The proposed order must list the continued (April 29, 2020) hearing date in the caption. The proposed order must also identify all upcoming hearings and list the address of the Court in all items. The Court’s records show the following upcoming hearings, which should all be listed in the proposed order:

Counsel is responsible for determining if there are any other hearings scheduled or due dates for discovery for this case, including any motions hearings, which must all be listed in the proposed order. For each hearing, Counsel must state the date, time, and location of the hearing including the address and Department number as follows: “111 N. Hill St., Dept. 26, L.A., CA 90012.” For each due date for discovery, Counsel must identify the nature of the discovery responses that are outstanding, the due date, and the address where verified responses must be sent.

Provided that Counsel presents a proof of service of notice of the continued (April 29, 2020) hearing date and a corrected proposed order at or before the hearing on this motion, the motion to be relieved as counsel will be granted. Otherwise, the motion will be continued or denied without prejudice.

Counsel should note that after the order is signed, the order will only become effective upon the filing of a proof of service of a signed copy of the order on Plaintiff. Counsel will remain the attorney of record until Counsel files with the Court proof of service of the signed order. Counsel will be ordered to serve a copy of the signed order (MC-053) on Plaintiff within three days.

Moving Counsel is ordered to provide notice of this order and file proof of service of such.

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