Hjelm v. Prometheus Real Estate Group Inc. (Oct. 5, 2016) 3 Cal.App.5th 1155.
Landlord offered a lease for an apartment to tenant with a one-sided attorney-fee provision that favored the landlord. The court held that the provision must be mutual, and upheld an award of attorney fees to the tenant.
However, the more interesting ruling, involves the landlord’s opening brief. In its opening brief, landlord ignored the facts from the trial that were adverse, and only cited facts favoring landlord. The Court of Appeal found that landlord violated California Rules of Court, rule 8.204(a)(2)(C), which requires a summary of the significant facts, not just the ones the landlord likes. In dicta, the Court opined that landlord’s brief might be unethical, and might garner sanctions.