Why Does An Attorney Who Litigates In Propria Persona May Not Be Awarded a Monetary Discovery Sanction ?
In Argaman v. Ratan (1999) 73 Cal. App. 4th 1173, 1175 86 Cal. Rptr. 2d 917, Division Five of our court held that, in "accord with the rationale of Trope, . . . an attorney who litigates in propria persona may not be awarded a monetary discovery sanction under . . . sections 2030, subdivision (l) and 2023, subdivision (b)(1), based on compensation for the time and effort expended as a result of a misuse of the discovery process."
Why? Because the rationale for an award to a pro se lawyer of attorney's fees as discovery sanctions fails for the same reasons an award of Civil Code section 1717 attorney's fees fails. ( Argaman v. Ratan, supra, 73 Cal. App. 4th at pp. 1177-1180.)
Argaman expressly rejects Abandonato's post-Trope analysis of sanction awards to pro se lawyers.
Why? Because "section 128.5 utilizes language similar to section 2023, subdivision (b)(1) in describing the basis of a monetary sanction award: 'reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred by another party.' " ( Argaman v. Ratan, supra, 73 Cal. App. 4th at p. 1181.)