Gary Watt

Gary Watt

Archer Norris PLC

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SLAPP Statute and the Mixed Cause of Action

The California Supreme Court is reviewing the mixed cause of action conundrum in Baral v. Schnitt (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1423. According to the Court’s docket, the issue is whether the SLAPP statute, Code of Civil Procedure...more

2/4/2016 - Anti-SLAPP Audits Breach of Duty CA Supreme Court Cause of Action Accrual Fiduciary Duty

Arbitration Limitations

A recent California Court of Appeal decision, Singerlewak LLP v. Gantman (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 610, illustrates the typically limited scope of judicial review in binding arbitration cases. Published appellate decisions...more

12/1/2015 - Appeals Binding Arbitration Disgorgement Judicial Review Partnership Agreements Public Policy Reversal Young Lawyers

Legal Writing: Speak Freely (But Plainly, Please!)

“This petition . . . ask[s] this Court to unmistakably clarify, to the whole patent community, that its Mayo/Biosig/Alice decisions (“3 decisions”) ended the claim construction anomaly hampering especially ET CIs – but meet,...more

1/8/2015 - Legal Writing Young Lawyers

Changing of the Guard at State’s High Court

The California Supreme Court is undergoing a few changes. Justice Joyce L. Kennard has retired and has not yet been replaced. And Justice Marvin R. Baxter is leaving at the end of the year. Much has already been written about...more

6/27/2014 - Judges Judicial Appointments

Contractual Attorney Fees in California: Which Statute Applies?

A recurring theme in my recent Daily Journal publications has been the rough doctrinal fit between operation of Civil Code section 1717 and Code of Civil Procedure section 1021 and section 1032. Section 1717 has been...more

5/22/2014 - Attorney's Fees Rules of Civil Procedure

Contractual Attorney Fees Conundrum

Appearances can be deceiving, and plain, statutory language is no exception. Take Civil Code section 1717, for example, which governs contractual attorney fees. Notwithstanding section 1717’s seemingly straightforward...more

1/27/2014 - Attorney's Fees

Contractual Attorney Fee Provisions: Words Matter

This blog entry provides an analytical metric for double-checking assumptions about application of Civil Code section 1717 and contractual attorney fee awards. As the case law demonstrates, it is easy to misapprehend how and...more

1/9/2014 - Attorney's Fees Contract Drafting Fee Awards

Fly Fishing and the Appellate Lawyering Life

What do fly fishing and appellate practice have in common? In his article, “Fly fishing and the appellate lawyering life,” Gary A. Watt, one of our certified appellate specialists and a fly fishing enthusiast, offers his...more



The verdict is in. AEG Live is not liable in the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit. An appeal is a foregone conclusion. But will an appeal be a "Thriller?" The standards of review tend to reduce the possibility...more

10/4/2013 - Appeals Celebrities Evidence Michael Jackson Substantial Evidence Standard Wrongful Death

What the Dickens is the law?

If a trial court issues a ruling based on a single appellate court opinion, and that opinion later gets depublished, what happens to the trial court’s ruling? This was the question in a recent appellate decision, Farmers...more

9/18/2013 - Publication Requirement

Sign Here

In 2006 the Legislature amended Code of Civil Procedure section 998 to state that "The written offer shall include . . . a provision that allows the accepting party to indicate acceptance of the offer by signing a statement...more

7/26/2013 - Expert Witness Fees Filing Requirements Philip Morris Signatures

Multiple 998 Offers: First? Last? Any?

Earlier this week, the state Supreme Court decided Martinez v. Brownco Construction Co. Inc., S200944. The issue was when it comes to two or more valid CCP section 998 offers, each of which is exceeded by the amount of the...more

6/17/2013 - Fees Offers SCOTUS

What's In a Word?

If you have a federal practice, chances are you have encountered Ninth Circuit opinions written by Circuit Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez. For the uninitiated, Judge Fernandez has made a career of teasing readers by sprinkling...more


State high court to hear settlement offer fee-shifting arguments

If a plaintiff makes a reasonable settlement offer, and it expires by operation of law, and then makes a second offer, does the latter extinguish the first for purpose of cost shifting provisions of section 998 sub-divison?...more

5/15/2013 - Fee-Shifting Settlement


The California Supreme Court recently decided that so long as its notice of appeal is timely filed, a suspended corporation can still pursue the appeal if it later revives its corporate powers. The case, Bourhis v. Lord,...more

3/11/2013 - Appeals Suspensions & Debarments

High court set to examine prevailing party attorney fees

Originally published in The Daily Journal on 2/6/13. Last month, the state Supreme Court granted review of the question, “Is the party who obtains the dismissal of a contract action entirely on procedural grounds...more

2/25/2013 - Attorney's Fees Breach of Contract Prevailing Party

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