Don’t Hold Back

We recently represented the respondent in an appeal to the appellate division of the superior court. When the appellant tried to raise a new issue in the reply brief, we objected, and the Court agreed:

In its opening brief, Plaintiff Yellowbook only argued that the trial court erred by granting relief from default because the motion to set aside was filed more than six months after entry of default. However, Stone Defendants correctly responded that it also sought mandatory relief and for such relief, the six month time frame runs from entry of judgment. (Sugasawara v. Newland (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 294, 296-297.) While Plaintiff Yellowbook argues in reply that mandatory relief does not apply, the Court will not consider that point, as Plaintiff Yellowbook failed to show good reason for failing to raise it in its opening brief. (See Scott v. CIBA Vision Corp. (1995) 38 Cal.App.4th 307, 322.) The trial court’s grant of the motion to set aside the default and default judgment is affirmed.

So don’t hold something back until your reply brief, thinking you will gain some advantage by having the “last word.” The Court probably will just ignore your late claim.