How has the court dealt with arguments by husband's counsel in a divorce proceeding?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from Thomas v. Thomas (In re Marriage of Thomas), G053595 (Cal. App. 2018):

Wife was given every opportunity to present live and documentary evidence on each issue that came before the court. She participated in each hearing, whether ex parte or otherwise; there were no "unnoticed" hearings. And to the extent the court excluded evidence, it did so because husband's counsel objected and the court sustained the objection. Wife does not challenge those evidentiary rulings, so any concerns about their correctness have been waived. (Lopez v. Baca (2002) 98 Cal.App.4th 1008, 1014-1015.)

As for argument by wife's counsel, it is clear from the record that the court was simply attempting to enforce its rulings and maintain orderly proceedings. Wife's counsel repeatedly interrupted the court, ignored its rulings and refused to heed its admonitions. The court gave her counsel considerable leeway and allowed him to make a thorough record of objections. At times, however, counsel's conduct was "so unprofessional" the court had to put a stop to it. On the record before us, we find no error. (See People v. Guerra (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1067, 1111, disapproved on other grounds by People v. Rundle (2008) 43 Cal.4th 76, 151 ["[A] trial court has the duty to control the trial proceedings" and "[w]hen an attorney engages in improper behavior, such as ignoring the court's instructions or asking inappropriate questions, it is within a trial court's discretion to reprimand the attorney, even harshly, as the circumstances require"].)

Page 13

The orders are affirmed. No costs are awarded.

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