The Courts may exclude evidence as a sanction as part of its inherent power to exclude evidence to cure violation of invasion of privacy and harassment (see Continental Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 94, 107-108) This is based upon the concept that litigation abuse shall not be tolerated. This case was about unethical ex parte communications with a current employee of a represented party (Rule 2-100).The California Supreme Court in Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. v. Superior Court (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 272, 287 recognized courts have inherent powers, independent of statute, derived from two distinct sources: the courts’ ‘equitable power derived from the historic power of equity courts’ and ‘supervisory or administrative powers which all courts possess to enable them to carry out their duties.’ The court’s inherent power to curb abuses and promote fair process extends to the preclusion of evidence. Even without such abuses the trial court enjoys ‘broad authority of the judge over the admission and exclusion of evidence.’ … [T]rial courts regularly exercise their ‘basic power to insure that all parties receive a fair trial’ by precluding evidence. Moreover, there is no intrinsic limitation on the court’s inherent power of evidence preclusion which would enable preclusion in cases of evidence destruction, but leave the court powerless to remedy other forms of litigation abuse. Peat Marwick’s conduct in this case, as the trial court found, has seriously damaged the People’s case. Faced with this sort of abuse of the litigation process, the trial court may act to prevent the taking of an unfair advantage and to preserve the integrity of the judicial system.
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