Court report: Eminent domain trial hearing update (Carloni) (July 23, 2021)

Judge Donald Alvarez in Department S-23 of the San Bernardino Justice Center commenced the proceeding in Town of Apple Valley v. Apple Valley Ranchos Water Corp. (Case no. CIVDS1600180) by dramatically narrowing the scope of what could be argued. Thus all the Town’s disagreements with the evidence and all of the questions and emotional argument in the Town’s attorney’s (BB&K) Objections were not factors to be considered at today’s hearing.

The oral argument of BB&K by Matthew Frias and Kendall McVey focused on the method by which this proceeding was handled and why it was not handled as a “writ proceeding,” restricted by the administrative record. They cited lots of law but in some respects they presented a perverted position.

Manatt Phelps, attorneys for Liberty Utilities, were a class act in response, emphasizing the law, pointing out the weakness or wrong reasoning, and never losing their cool. The judge will now prepare the final decision, which we expect to receive on or before September 21, 2021.

BB&K was patronizing the judge and before leaving suggested to the judge that they would need extra time to analyze any motion for attorney fees and costs, somewhat of a capitulation and concession that the decision will not be changed.

Diana J. Carloni
Attorney at Law