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Deadline Looms for Appeal in $10.5 Million Lawsuit Against City of La Mesa

Lawyer for Briercrest Development has until Oct. 10 to file opening brief, but she says it will happen.

The clock is ticking toward an Oct. 10 deadline, but a lawyer honored as “Street Fighter of the Year” says she will file an opening brief on that date for Briercrest Development in its $10.5 million case against the city of La Mesa.

Kathryn Karcher, the attorney, said Thursday her appeal of an El Cajon Superior Court judge’s decision against Briercrest  is “definitely continuing.”

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the California Court of Appeal in San Diego said Briercrest needed to file an opening brief by Oct. 10 “or it will be dismissed on the court’s own motion.”

In an August 2011 trial before Judge Joel Wohlfeil in El Cajon Superior Court, developers of a $23 million project called The Village at Briercrest argued that the city breached its contract and failed to finance a combination skilled nursing facility and assisted-living center.

The city owned the 2½-acre property at 9000 Murray Drive near Sharp Grossmont Hospital, but Briercrest Development suffered setback after setback and couldn’t get a loan to build the project.

In November, Wohlfeil ruled against Briercrest in the case now approaching 600 days old.

On Jan. 17, the state 4th District Court of Appeal received a 32-page notice of appeal.

La Mesa’s city attorney and assistant city attorney—Glenn Sabine and Gregory Lusitana, respectively—succeeded in fending off the bitter civil suit.

Karcher in 2011 received the Street Fighter of the Year award from the Consumer Attorneys of California for excellence in representing plaintiffs on appeal.

“Karcher has been included in San Diego Super Lawyers for 2007 through 2012, as one of the Super Lawyers Top 25 Women Lawyers in San Diego County for 2008 and 2010 through 2012, and for Washington Super Lawyers for 2012,” her biography said. 

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