Filed 4/11/06 Englert v. Sierra Foothilss Public Utility Dist. CA5
California Rules of Court, rule 977(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 977(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 977.
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FIFTH APPELLATE DISTRICT
Plaintiff, Cross-defendant and Respondent,
SIERRA FOOTHILLS PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT,
Defendant, Cross-complainant and Appellant.
F045563 & F046045
(Super. Ct. No. MCV 020596)
APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Madera County. James Oakley, Judge.
McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard Wayte & Carruth, James P. Wagoner, Todd W. Baxter, Constance E. Roberts; and Edwin A. Oeser for Defendant, Cross-complainant and Appellant.
Betts & Wright and James B. Betts for Plaintiff, Cross-defendant and Respondent.
These consolidated appeals concern the denial of appellant's motion to disqualify respondent's trial attorney and the exclusion of certain evidence proffered by appellant at trial. We conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in either instance. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment.
Facts and Procedural History
James B. Betts and his law firm (Betts) were personal and business attorneys for plaintiff and respondent David Englert (respondent). This appeal involves claims that Englert's relationship with defendant and appellant Sierra Foothills Public Utilities District (appellant) was so intertwined as to make Betts's previous representation of respondent tantamount to representation of appellant. As a result, it will be necessary to describe the relationship between appellant and respondent in some detail.
Respondent participated in the development of Riverbend Golf Club (Riverbend) from the time of its planning and construction in the late 1990's. Riverbend was a core part of a grander development scheme known as Rio Mesa. After a complex and prolonged series of transactions not necessary to recount in detail in this appeal, Rio Mesa interests formed appellant utility district and transferred Riverbend from a previous public finance authority to appellant. (See generally Public Utility District Act, Pub. Util. Code, § 15501 et seq.) Operation of Riverbend was supposed to generate revenue that would be used to pay down millions of dollars of bonds issued by the public finance authority. (See Pub. Util. Code, § 16431 [authorizing public utility district to â€