Younessi v. WoolfAnnotate this Case
Defendants Chaim Woolf and Steven Camhi were attorneys who represented plaintiffs in a prior civil action. They appealed an order granting plaintiffs' motion to set aside the dismissal of a legal malpractice action. The court dismissed the case after plaintiffs Michael Younessi and Alea Investments, LLC failed to timely file an amended complaint in response to an order sustaining demurrers to the original complaint with leave to amend. Plaintiffs filed motions to dismiss the appeal, for relief from default in failing to file a respondents' brief, and for judicial notice. The Court of Appeals denied plaintiffs' motions. But the Court "reluctantly" affirmed the trial court's order vacating the dismissal: while the evidence did not support granting relief for mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect, since the dismissal resulted from plaintiffs' newly retained attorney's failure to oppose the demurrers and timely file an amended complaint, plaintiffs were entitled to relief under Code Civ. Proc. section 473, subdivision (b)'s attorney-fault provision.