California Case Law - The FindLaw California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal News & Information Blog

California Case Law - The FindLaw California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal Opinion Summaries Blog


Are traumatized students disabled students, entitled to extra help and accommodations in schools? Yes, according to a new lawsuit brought by students and teachers against Compton Unified School District.

The class action lawsuit, which has its first hearing today, alleges that students exposed to trauma through violence, family disruption, discrimination, and extreme stress are disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act and are entitled to the same benefits and accommodations afforded students with more widely recognized learning disabilities.

It's a good time for sunscreen in California, though you wouldn't know it up here in San Francisco, where the June Gloom has given way to a relatively gray Fogust. But, sunless as we may be, sunscreen companies have reason to celebrate, having recently defeated a long running consumer protection lawsuit.

Two plaintiffs who alleged that Neutrogena's sunscreens were misleadingly labeled and marketed have had their suits tossed by a California appellate court, the National Law Review reports. Their state law claims were, ahem, eclipsed by FDA regulations.

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order to prevent an anti-abortion group from releasing more videos of employees in a California company which provides fetal tissue to researchers. Those videos, made of hidden camera footage, purport to show Planned Parenthood and StemExpress employees discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue for research, or, as the videos' creators term it, an "illegal baby parts trade."

The videos, released by the Center for Medical Progress, have been widely condemned as deceptive and misleading. Following the California court's order, no more videos of StemExpress employees will be released, though the Center for Medical Progress says it will continue to release other videos not affected by the order.

Finally, that LLM you got in Zombie Law is about to pay off! The California Supreme Court ruled on Monday that wills may be amended post-mortem. That's a drastic shift from the categorical bar against modifying an unambiguous will.

Of course, those wishing to amend their wills after death won't need to reanimate a corpse or two -- though it wouldn't hurt. Clear extrinsic evidence of the testator's intent should be enough.

The California Supreme Court ruled against comedian, Jello-spokesperson, and alleged serial sexual offender Bill Cosby last Wednesday. The court rejected Cosby's attempt to block a sexual battery lawsuit by Judy Huth. Huth's lawsuit alleges that the comedian molested her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15 years old.

Cosby could soon be deposed under oath, following the ruling. That's certainly not something the Cosby team is looking forward to, given the damaging revelations from a recently discovered deposition.

After years of wrangling, a federal court in California has dismissed a privacy lawsuit against Google. Plaintiffs had alleged a variety of privacy breaches by Google, claiming that the tech Goliath had indiscriminately shared their private information with third parties, in violation of the company's own policies.

The crux of the lawsuit was Google's alleged sharing of names, email addresses and account locations with third parties without users' permission. Plaintiffs are unable to show any injury stemming from that sharing, federal Judge Paul Grewal ruled last Wednesday, dismissing the suit for the fourth, and most likely last, time.

California cheerleaders have a new reason to cheer today after Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill guaranteeing basic employee rights for cheerleaders. The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, herself a former cheerleader, comes after a series of lawsuits by professional cheerleaders who alleged they often worked without pay or even simple employment protections.

It's not just cheerleaders who will benefit. In a nod to team spirit, the legislation will also protect professional mascots, from the Giant's Lou Seal to the L.A. Clipper's Frankie Muniz.

Call it a family law case for the modern age. The question of who controls a couple's frozen embryos after divorce goes before the San Francisco Superior Court today in what could be a precedent setting trial. The case is the first in California to address what happens when one half of a couple wants to preserve embryos that the other half wants destroyed.

As a result of the increasing popularity of in vitro fertilization, there are more than 600,000 frozen embryos in the United States, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Most of those are left over from successful IVF procedures, their futures uncontested. However, a few of those embryos are increasingly becoming the center of custody disputes during divorce and separation.

Oh how the tides have turned. California, once a bastion for anti-vaccination activists, adopted one of the toughest vaccination laws in the country this week. On Tuesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed the new legislation, which requires all children attending public schools to be vaccinated against polio, measles, hepatitis B and other preventable diseases.

Importantly, the law removes exemptions based personal and religious objections to vaccination. Currently, more than 80,000 students escape vaccination under personal belief exemptions. Vaccination opponents have vowed to fight the new legislation.

Just in time for this weekend's Gay Pride celebrations and right on the cusp of the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling, California's got some good, gay news: a ballot initiative to execute gays and lesbians can be snuffed out without going through the regular ballot process. It's the little victories that count.

The ridiculous Sodomite Suppression Act was the work of Orange Count attorney Matthew McLaughlin and would have required capital punishment for same-sex sexual activity -- carried out by any member of the public. Besides being offensively stupid, the ballot measure is patently unconstitutional and state attorney general Kamala Harris refused to even process the proposal -- i.e., allow it to be put out for petitions in order to qualify for the ballot.