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

Recently in Court Rules Category

The Rutter Group's Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial, California and Ninth Circuit Edition has been updated for 2017 with new case law, statutes, and important info to help guide you through the procedural minefield that is federal litigation in California. Updates are still available for current subscribers. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is part of Thomson Reuters, FindLaw's parent company.)

For federal litigators in California that don't have The Rutter Group's best selling guide, or that might have missed a few updates, it's never too late to start using the industry leading practice guide.

Lawyer Bills Are Not Privileged After Litigation Ends

It's taken a couple of billing cycles for California lawyers to absorb the significance of a state Supreme Court decision two months ago.

In a controversial decision, the court said that lawyers' bills are not privileged after a case has concluded.

Appeals Court Approves Plan to Build New SF Arena for Golden State Warriors

A state appeals court has given an assist to the NBA's leading basketball team for a new arena in San Francisco.

In blocking an attempt by opponents, the First District Court of Appeal said the city's plan complies with environmental standards that were challenged on appeal. The Mission Bay plan includes a 488,000-square-foot event center with a capacity of up to 18,500 seats to host games by the Golden State Warriors basketball team. Local businesses, including a medical center, had claimed that increased traffic would adversely affect them. The court rejected the argument.

"[M]ost basketball games and concerts drawing large crowds will generally occur during evening hours, 'after commercial and medical office hours of nearby uses," the court said. The unanimous panel also turned aside arguments that the construction would endanger nesting for birds and bats.

Cal Supreme Court Says 'Yes' to Percentage Attorney Fees

The California Supreme Court said OK to percentage class-action compensation for attorneys, but it didn't go so far as to say that a pure percentage would be the end of the story. If we're reading the tone and tenor of the California Supreme Court's opinion correctly, percentage class-action suits involving a common fund will still have to be reigned in against reasonable lodestar guiding principles.

What does this mean for class action litigators? Contingency is not gone, but be prepared in the future to provide justification for your fees. The time of courts taking attorneys' accounting on faith may soon be coming to an end.

Right-To-Die Lawsuit Rejected by California Appeals Court

The Associated Press reported yesterday that a California appeals court rejected a lawsuit brought by Christy O'Donnell and two other terminally ill patients who sought to legalize the procedure for doctors to prescribe them fatal medication.

The court ruled that current law would criminalize physicians who helped patients commit suicide. The news comes as a blow to the patients in light of this month's signing of the California's physician-assisted suicide law. This is ironic because O'Donnell's face has become synonymous with California's freshly legalized right to drug-assisted suicide.

Ticket App 'Fixed' Is Banned in Major California Cities

For those who suffer from a phobia of parking tickets, the app Fixed, which will "fix" your tickets, is something of a miracle. Considering the realities of faded curb paint, signs written in triple negatives, and ambiguous driveways, it's no wonder that drivers could use some help fixing tickets.

Not so fast, says three California cities. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland have now banned the ticket-fix app.

Deported Immigrants Will Get Due Process, Feds Foot the Bill

Immigrants who suffered mental disabilities and were forced to leave the United States will finally have their day in court -- with competent representation.

A Federal judge sitting in Los Angeles, Hon. Dolly Gee, approved a settlement that would allow hundreds of deported immigrants suffering from severe mental disabilities to return to the United States to contest their deportation with the aid of the ACLU. The nearly 900 plaintiffs brought a class action suit against against Eric Holder in 2011; and the ruling comes to them as a victory.

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.

While certainly not as exciting as the prospect of six Californias, or as debatable as the value of the death penalty, there are still many legal issues in California that are making headlines.

In this week's update, we take a look at a new celebrity lawsuit, how California is dealing with the water shortage, and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.

Taking a Vacation: The Myth of the Tenderloin Notice

A few weeks ago, when we were brainstorming topic ideas, someone mentioned the idea of writing a post on what to do if you are planning a vacation -- Memorial Day weekend and summertime are approaching, after all. One of our editors mentioned Tenderloin notices as a "must do" before leaving.

We Googled.

Lies. All lies. It turns out that there is no support for the oft-used "Notice of Availability" in the text of Tenderloin Housing Clinic v. Sparks, and according to an appeals court in Carl v. Superior Court, the urban legend notices were "simply made up."