In Kinney v. Overton, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Jul. 18, 2007), the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division Three) addressed the problem of piecemeal appellate review in this colorful paragraph:
Tiny portions of the litigation have been separated out one by one, bifurcated, and set for trial, in order, we presume, to make an unwieldy ball of wax just a little bit smaller. Those tiny portions have come to us in isolation, one appeal at a time. But Kinney, as one of the primary protagonists in the litigation, keeps complaining that the courts never slay the dragon and put the beast to rest. However, if the litigation is continually brought to us in bits and pieces, we can only address bits and pieces. We cannot address matters that are outside of the record on appeal or issues that do not arise from the portion of the litigation underlying the appeal in question. (CIT Group/Equipment Financing, Inc. v. Super DVD, Inc. (2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 537, 539, fn. 1; People v. National Auto. & Cas. Co. (1966) 242 Cal.App.2d 150, 153.) When all of the parties and issues are not put before this court, and we are not provided with all of the evidence necessary to finally address and resolve all ills, it is not possible for us to slay the dragon. Unless and until Kinney or another party to the litigation drags the entire beast before this court, we will continue to provide answers piecemeal — one talon at a time.
Slip op. at 2.