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A self-representing 89-year-old lawyer who is suing his real estate agent after the sale of his Rancho Mirage house will win a new jury trial as the Court of Appeal threw out the bench judgment against his case May 6. The published appellate ruling found that temporary judge Ronald Taylor inappropriately penalized Joseph Amato for violating Riverside Superior Court rules by changing his jury trial to a bench trial, without notice or consent.

Seller’s remorse

According to the ruling, Joseph Amato owned a house in a gated community in Rancho Mirage. In 2016, he agreed in writing to list the house for sale through Coldwell Banker agent Steve Downs for the price

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