Attorney Ethics, Civil Procedure, Criminal, Environmental, Family and Tort Cases - California Case Law
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Attorney Ethics, Civil Procedure, Criminal, Environmental, Family and Tort Cases

In re Marriage of Ruth & Paul Zimmerman, No. B211381, concerned a petition to set aside prior child support orders against petitioner's former husband based on the husband's alleged fraud.  The court of appeal affirmed the denial of the petition on the ground that petitioner simply challenged false evidence allegedly adduced by the husband and thus did not set forth a situation involving extrinsic fraud, and hence the statute of limitations was not equitably tolled.

In People v. Friedeck, No. B213944, the court of appeal affirmed the trial court's denial of probation to defendant, who had been convicted of a drug offense, because the trial court did not err in finding defendant was not eligible for Proposition 36 based on his implied refusal of treatment.

Swahn Group, Inc. v. Segal, No. C056970, concerned a legal malpractice action alleging malpractice by defendants in an underlying breach of contract case.  The court of appeal reversed the dismissal of the action, holding that the requirements for judicial estoppel were not met since the trial court did not adopt the claims advanced by the plaintiffs in the settlement of the rescission action that conflicted with claims advanced in the present action.

Jones v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., No. A123948, involved a petition for writ of mandate under the California Environmental Quality Act challenging the certification of an environmental impact report (EIR) by the Board of Regents of the University of California regarding projected development of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  The court of appeal reversed the partial grant of the petition, on the grounds that 1) although an EIR must consider a reasonable range of potentially feasible alternatives and compare their environmental impacts, it did not have to identify and analyze alternatives that would not meet a project‟s objectives nor did it have to discuss every possible permutation of alternatives; 2) real parties in interest's rejection of an off-site alternative was supported by substantial evidence; and 3) petitioners failed to exhaust their administrative remedies on the issue of whether the regents were required to recirculate the draft EIR after adding a discussion made in response to public comments.

In People v. Zamani, No. H032414, the court of appeal affirmed defendant's conviction for felony appropriation of lost property, holding that 1) the crime of appropriation of lost property was not a specific intent offense, and thus there was no instructional error; and 2) defendant's prior act of returning lost property had no relevance to whether he knew or had means to find the identity of the true owner of the property at issue.

Kirk v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., No. B218956, involved an action alleging violations of consumer protection laws by title insurers.  The court of appeal reversed the trial court's order disqualifying a law firm on the defense side, on the ground that, in the circumstances of the case, automatic vicarious disqualification is not required, and instead, there was a rebuttable presumption that a disqualified attorney's knowledge of client confidences was imputed to the firm, which could be refuted by evidence that the law firm adequately screened the attorney from the others at the firm representing the adverse party.

Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. Superior Court, No. B210693, concerned an action against the Regents of the University of California for negligence because of alleged wrongdoing and mishandling of donated bodies by the UCLA Willed Body Program.  The court of appeal reversed the denial of summary judgment by a writ of mandate, holding that, because plaintiffs' decedent's body donation was "irrevocable" upon her death, plaintiffs could not enter into an agreement with UCLA regarding the body, and representations UCLA allegedly made to plaintiffs did not create a duty to them.

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