In URS Corporation v. Atkinson/Walsh Joint Venture (No. G055271 filed September 26, 2017), Division Three of the Fourth Appellate District dealt with, for the first time, the question of whether an appeal of an attorney disqualification order results in an automatic stay of the trial proceedings and, if so, how far the automatic stay extends.
The underlying action involved a construction dispute between a contractor and subcontractor. During the pendency of that action, one party’s counsel filed a motion to disqualify another party’s counsel based on an alleged misuse of mediation-privilege protected documents. The trial court granted the disqualification motion and the disqualified counsel promptly filed a notice of appeal. The trial court then denied an application to stay proceedings pending the appeal, rejecting the assertion that the appeal automatically stayed the underlying proceedings.
Reprinted courtesy of Howard M. Garfield, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Renata L. Hoddinott, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP
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