California Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.16 - Interpretation

In Sanai v. Saltz, B174924, B170618, decided June 28, 2005 on rehearing following the Supreme Court's decision in Varian Medical Systems, Inc. v. Delfino (2005) 35 Cal.4th 180, the Court reversed the trial court's order denying Mr. Sanai's motion to set aside void judgment and orders, vacated the judgment entered against Mr. Sanai and reversed all postjudgment orders awarding and denying costs and attorney fees. As the Court explained, in Varian the Supreme Court held, by virtue of Code of Civil Procedure section 916, the perfecting of an appeal from the denial of a special motion to strike pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16 automatically stays all further trial court proceedings on the merits as to those causes of action affected by the motion (Varian, at p. 191) and also held any subsequent trial court proceedings on matters "'embraced' in or 'affected' by" the appeal are void, not merely voidable: "Section 916, as a matter of logic and policy, divests the trial court of jurisdiction over the subject matter on appeal--i.e., jurisdiction in the fundamental sense." (Id. at p. 198.)