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#1
Old 07-03-2018, 12:16 PM
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Zahau family v Shacknai

On April 4, 2018, a jury in San Diego County awarded over $5 million in damages to the family of Rebecca Zahau in their wrongful death case against Adam Shacknai. The defendant vowed to appeal.
QUESTION: Since 60 days would appear to have elapsed since the judgment, has a notice of appeal been filed on Mr. Shacknai's behalf, and if not, is there still time available for such a notice to be filed?

Ozzie Maland
Walnut Creek, CA

Nick Vujicick: "It isn't the pursuit of happiness, it's the happiness of pursuits."
#2
Old 07-03-2018, 12:32 PM
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Sounds like you need a lawyer to answer such a specific question.
#3
Old 07-03-2018, 12:59 PM
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The webmaster for Straight Dope said my question was an appropriate one for the message boards, and I think he was referring to the general and huge public interest in this legal case.
#4
Old 07-03-2018, 01:22 PM
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Judgment in a civil matter is not the date the jury returns its verdict. There is typically a lot of post trial motions that delay entry of the final judgement. Then the 60 day clock starts to run. I don't know anything about this case, but a few extra months would not be unusual.
#5
Old 07-03-2018, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
Judgment in a civil matter is not the date the jury returns its verdict. There is typically a lot of post trial motions that delay entry of the final judgement. Then the 60 day clock starts to run. I don't know anything about this case, but a few extra months would not be unusual.
I see now that you're a lawyer (Harvard no less!) Sorry for stating the obvious. Maybe I missed the thrust of your question?
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ozziemaland View Post
The webmaster for Straight Dope said my question was an appropriate one for the message boards, and I think he was referring to the general and huge public interest in this legal case.
The what, now?
#7
Old 07-03-2018, 03:11 PM
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Not at all obvious to me. I was admitted to the bar in Illinois and am still on the inactive roll of attorneys in the state—but I had almost no involvement in litigation and did not know about a typically long interval between verdict and judgment in civil suits. Your information, therefore, is very much appreciated. Do you have a thought as to whether, if a judgment was obtained, the plaintiffs would served a certified copy upon the defendant so as to start the 60-day period for filing an appeal?
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:31 PM
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Zahau family v Shacknai

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
The what, now?
I think a lot of people shared my interest in a finding of suicide by a sheriff and medical examiner where the decedent's body was found naked hanging outside a balcony, that interest being evidenced by the fact that a majority of jurors found another person to have committed a wrong, to the extent of large damages, in her being so found—and those jurors had to choose to not accept the county officials' story.
#9
Old 07-03-2018, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
Sounds like you need a lawyer to answer such a specific question.
Since we have a number of lawyers who post here, that shouldn't be a problem.

To clarify, legal questions about a specific case in which the OP has a personal interest are most appropriate for IMHO. However, general questions about the law itself are appropriate for this forum.

This said, should this turn into a debate it may be sent to Great Debates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
The what, now?
Our webmaster is the person who handles questions sent to the site.
#10
Old 07-03-2018, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozziemaland View Post
Not at all obvious to me. I was admitted to the bar in Illinois and am still on the inactive roll of attorneys in the state—but I had almost no involvement in litigation and did not know about a typically long interval between verdict and judgment in civil suits. Your information, therefore, is very much appreciated. Do you have a thought as to whether, if a judgment was obtained, the plaintiffs would served a certified copy upon the defendant so as to start the 60-day period for filing an appeal?
Ok, that makes sense.

The final judgment issued by the court would be served on all parties simultaneously. Sometimes in open court at a post trial hearing, sometimes just sent out with no hearing (after briefing).
#11
Old 07-03-2018, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Our webmaster is the person who handles questions sent to the site.
I think kaylasdad99 was questioning the supposed huge and general interest in the case.
#12
Old 07-03-2018, 09:17 PM
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Now that we have the details, yes, it was big. I didn't recognize the names alone.
#13
Old 07-04-2018, 02:20 AM
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Can those of us who don't know what the OP is talking about get a link?
#14
Old 07-04-2018, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
Can those of us who don't know what the OP is talking about get a link?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Rebecca_Zahau

"Rebecca Mawii Zahau, 32, was discovered dead on July 13, 2011, at the Spreckels Beach House in Coronado, California, owned by her live-in boyfriend, Medicis Pharmaceutical CEO Jonah Shacknai. Zahau's death occurred two days after Shacknai's 6-year-old son Max took a fatal fall from a staircase banister in the same beachfront mansion. Zahau was the only adult present at the time of the child's fall."

"The deaths drew intense public and media scrutiny.[9] On July 14, Medicis had its sharpest one-day decline in stock price since February.[24] News of the death and investigation received international coverage in various countries including Brazil, New Zealand, Finland, Spain, and the United Kingdom throughout July and August.[40][41][42][43][44] In early September, various Forbes writers, including true crime writer Cathy Scott and lawyer Victoria Pynchon, expressed doubts about the investigators' conclusions; Pynchon described the ruling as an "embarrassing public blunder.""
#15
Old 07-04-2018, 11:14 AM
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The case file is available on the San Diego County Superior Court's website. It is civil case no. 37-2013-75418. I am not familiar with state civil procedure, but the docket does not seem to show a judgment having been entered or a notice of appeal having been filed. There is some sort of post-trial motion that was just heard, having to do with a "Failure to File Judgment," and I do not know what that means in this context. I did not download any pleadings, which might require payment.
#16
Old 07-04-2018, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
The case file is available on the San Diego County Superior Court's website. It is civil case no. 37-2013-75418. I am not familiar with state civil procedure, but the docket does not seem to show a judgment having been entered or a notice of appeal having been filed. There is some sort of post-trial motion that was just heard, having to do with a "Failure to File Judgment," and I do not know what that means in this context. I did not download any pleadings, which might require payment.
Great info, Tom. Doing some searching online, I think the probable explanation is that the judge requested plaintiffs' attorney to submit a form of judgment which would reflect the court's decision in the case—this request not being complied with within a few days. So, the court docketed a hearing on the question whether the case should not be dismissed because of "Failure to File Judgment."
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