Quest International v. ICODE Corp.

Here are some excerpts from a rather entertaining opinion published today by the California Court of Appeal in a case the court characterizes as "the appellate procedural case from hell." In it, the court "reluctantly" dismissed for lack of jurisdiction an appeal of the trial court's grant of a motion to dismiss for incovenient forum, because the appellant had fallen into "a particularly well-camouflaged [procedural] trap."

[A]s anyone who reads this opinion through to the end is about to learn, California�s law of appellate jurisdiction is full of fiendishly fine distinctions worthy of the most legalistic of medieval clergy. We have turned this case around like a prism hoping to find the light that might save this appeal. Alas, we have not found it despite any number of quick flashes. On analysis they all turned out to be evanescent.

In Shakespeare�s Henry V, there is an early scene where the Archbishop of Canterbury delivers a long, tedious
and virtually incomprehensible speech to the new king (incomprehensible unless you have the text in front of you
and you�ve taken a graduate seminar on the law of royal succession in medieval France) on a topic that even many
lawyers would find arcane, choice of law. (The archbishop of Canterbury basically rebuts the idea that the �Salique� law of Germany (sometimes also spelt �Salic� or �Sallic�), which bars any female succession at all, applies to preclude English Henry�s claim to the French throne). But upon that fine, pedantic legal distinction would �awake� the �sleeping sword of war,� and, as a consequence, later in the play, 10,000 French knights and soldiers would get slaughtered in the mud at Agincourt. In the case before us, by contrast, the worst thing that can happen as a result of the fine pedantic distinctions on which this case turns is that a case which should be otherwise considered by a court in one state will be considered in another, which is not quite the same thing as dying in battle from a gale of Welsh arrows.

In addition to Shakespeare, the opinion makes multiple references to the Bible, not to mention Alice in Wonderland, Humpty Dumpty, Mark Twain and Winston Churchill. The case is Quest International, Inc. v. ICODE Corp., G032276 (4th App. Dist., Div. 3) (37 page PDF).