The Three Immutable Rules Of Appellate Practice.
“When practicing appellate law, there are at least three immutable rules: first, take great care to prepare a complete record; second, if it is not in the record, it did not happen; and third, when in doubt, refer back to rules one and two.” Protect Our Water v. County of Merced, 110 Cal.App.4th 362, 364 (2003).
The Third District instructed on these rules of appellate practice in Spanos v. Dreyer, Babich, Buccola & Callaham, LLP, C077235 (3rd Dist. 6/27/16) (Duarte, Robie, Renner) (unpublished), in which the plaintiff/appellant alleged malpractice in connection with a mediation session settling an underlying tort case and a related workers’ compensation claim. The outcome of the case would have turned on the application of the mediation privilege (Evid. Code, section 1119) – if there had been an adequate record.
Alas, the appellant failed to provide the operative complaint, and failed to augment the record. On an appeal from an order sustaining a demurrer, the Court must review the operative complaint to determine whether a cause of action is stated. Also, counsel for appellant failed to appear at oral argument.