The California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District decided a criminal matter, an anti-SLAPP motion, vicarious liability issues, and attorneys fees in an employment case.
In People v. Benitez, No. G041201, the court faced a challenge to defendant's denial of his constitutional right to confrontation when a supervisor was allowed to testify regarding a crime lab analyst's analysis of the substance found on defendant to be methamphetamine. In light of Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (2009) 557 U.S. __ [129 S.Ct. 2527, 174 L.Ed.2d 314], the court reversed defendant's conviction of possession of methamphetamine because the trial court erred in admitting the analysts notes as a business record.
In Daniels v. Robbins, No. G039984, the court faced a challenge to a trial court's grant of an anti-SLAPP motion in plaintiff's action against several attorneys who had represented a client who had sued plaintiff in a prior action. In affirming the motion, the court held that plaintiff failed to make the required showing that she would probably prevail on the merits and failed to make a prima facie case of malice against the defendants.
In Lobo v. Tamco, No. E047593, the court dealt with the issue of employer's vicarious liability. In that case, plaintiff brought a wrongful death action claiming that the driver who collided with her husband was acting within the course and scope of his employment at time of the accident. In reversing trial court's decision, the court concluded that it was err to grant summary judgment where a reasonable trier of fact could find that the "required vehicle" exception does apply.