Woodland Hills personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg handles a disproportionate amount of dog bite and dog attack cases in the San Fernando Valley. Perhaps, the office’s location in suburban Woodland Hills and the surrounding neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley, like Canoga Park and Tarzana, have a disproportionate number of dogs and families that own them. Recently, we published an Article about a dog that cooks—sort of! The case involved a dog that ignited a stove that had dog food on top.
We found humor in the circumstance that allowed a law suit against the stove manufacturer to go forward. The Article was a great success and timely given that July is definitely “Dog Bite Season!”
We had an opportunity to discuss the case with the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal from the applicable District, Hon. Arthur Gilbert, who concurred in the opinion. When told of the relative success of the topic and some of the forgettable canine puns and references, Justice Gilbert basically said: “you haven’t seen nothing yet!” He promptly forwarded an opinion he authored on July 15, 1986, Phillips v. San Luis Obispo County Dept. of Animal Regulation (1986) 183 Cal.App.3rd 372. (Notice the month—July!)
The actual facts of the Phillips case are not what was important. Suffice it to say that the dog in that case— “Missy” was spared the ultimate punishment, and was permitted to “’go out in the midday sun.’”
Of significance to my point, the Phillips case uses every opportunity to pull out every “tongue in cheek” dog reference that imaginative jurists could find:
We resist the temptation that grabbed hold of our colleagues who have written dog opinions, and will not try to dig up appropriate sobriquets. You will not read about “unmuzzled liberty.” Nor will you consider an argument “dogmatically asserted,” or cringe with “we con-cur.” (In re Ackerman (1907) 6 Cal.App. 5 [91 P. 429].) We will not subject you to phrases such as “barking up the wrong tree.” (Romero v. County of Santa Clara (1970) 3 Cal.App.3d 700, 704 [83 Cal.Rptr. 758].) We disavow doggerel. (Emphasis added.)
To the contrary—-Justice Gilbert did some “hot dogging” of his own:
“The county unleashes an argument . . .”
“This argument strays form the point.”
“. . . we must bury this argument.”
“But, the ordinance in question here ends, ‘not with a bang, but a whimper.’”
The real point of all of this is that people love their dogs and they love to talk about them. More importantly, our legal jurists are not immune from making dog references as a sign of affection for man’s best friend. At Barry P. Goldberg, A Professional Law Corporation, we love dogs as well. That is why we are basically non-confrontational when it comes to corresponding with owners of biting dogs. We understand that the dogs are valued family members. In truth, dog bites are usually traceable to the lack of proper training both for the dog and the owner. Fortunately, most dog bites in the San Fernando Valley are covered by the liability portion of the dog owner’s Homeowners Liability policy.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a dog bite or dog attack, you need to consult with a law firm that is experienced in the nuances of such a case and is intimately familiar with Homeowners Insurance policies and the applicability to dog bites. Even more importantly, you need a law firm that will doggedly pursue the case and will not let go of its bite until the injured victim receives full and fair compensation.