Difficult Father to Pay $200K in Attorneys’ Fees

Claiming that Trial Courts fee order was not supported by sufficient evidence, Father appealed. Now, California Court of Appeals, has dismissed Fathers appeal. The Appellate Court has ruled that (1) Father may not be heard to complain about lack of evidence when his own refusal to provide discovery created that situation; (2) the disentitlement doctrine permits Appellate Court to stay or dismiss an appeal of a party who refuses to obey Trial Courts orders; (3) the application of disentitlement doctrine is appropriate here because Father has refused to comply with three separate Trial Court orders compelling responses to discovery requests; and (4) Trial Court was not required to wait to order fees until Father was willing to provide discovery. In a side note, the Appellate Court says that Fathers refusal to comply with discovery requests gives Trial Court little reason to find his statements about his finances credible, and that Trial Court has discretion to make a fee award that requires payor to borrow funds to pay it.

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