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


Will California Ever Lower the Cut Score on the Bar Exam?

Someday, researchers believe, they will find a cure to cancer.

Until then, the sad truth is that a lot of people are going to die. It's the awful cost of medical progress, and it takes time.

The California bar exam is no cancer, but a lot of test-takers are dying out there. Is lowering the cut-score a solution, a salve, or a prayer?

When a court says jump, lawyers generally ask how high, especially after exhausting all appeals and being threatened with terminating sanctions.

But, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, which is the governing organization for the Jehovah's Witness congregations nationwide, didn't jump when ordered to produce a set of documents. Instead it kept coming back to the merits of the case, insisting that the documents were irrelevant, even after being told to produce the documents multiple times and being threatened with severe terminating sanctions for failing to take the court's last chance offer.

Governor Brown Appoints 13 Judges Before Departing

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed 13 more judges, including some firsts, as he prepared to leave office.

The appointees include the first Korean-American judge in Alameda County and the first Sikh judge in Sacramento County. Add to that, Brown named the first Filipino-American judge to serve on the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

With the latest appointments, the outgoing governor has chosen more than two dozen Superior Court judges since June. It's not rocket science, but that means Brown picked an average of one new judge every week during his final months.

There was a time when the California Judicial Council thought it was a good idea to unify the entire California court system's computers and make sure every court was operating on the same platform.

And apparently, the plan that got put in place some years ago has failed. Fortunately, the council's technology committee seems to have recognized where it should be focusing and has announced a new technology and strategic development plan. The plan should not only increase public access, but also technological cooperation among the courts.

Court Nixes Lawsuit Challenging California Assisted Suicide

Doctors may continue to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients who request them in California, according to a state appeals court.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals kept the state's assisted-suicide law alive after a lower court said the law was unconstitutional. The appeals court said the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the law because they did not show any harm to themselves.

However, the appeals panel also remanded the case for further consideration. There will be more on the so-called "right-to-die."

When it comes to criminal convictions, society has a real need for those convictions to be just. As the saying goes, it's better to let however many guilty people free than to let one innocent person be incarcerated.

However, as the California Supreme Court recently explained, in People v. Rodas, questions of a defendant's competency to stand trial need to be handled with the utmost scrutiny. In short, simply having questions or well-founded concerns should be enough to put a stop to the proceedings until those are resolved.

There is very little doubt that the University of California values diversity at all its campuses statewide, however due to the state's ban on affirmative action, the universities' admissions systems have been race-neutral.

However, a UCLA professor who's been studying the data has filed a lawsuit because he has been refused updated data, and because he believes that schools have fell back into having admissions policies basically implementing affirmative action. Given the recentness of the Harvard race-based admissions trial, this recent lawsuit against the UC Regents is garnering a lot of attention.

The recent California wildfires, which as of this date are still not contained, have resulted in almost 50 deaths, countless destroyed homes, and acres upon acres of destroyed landscape.

And before the fire is even out or down to embers, victims of the Camp Fire burning in northern California have filed a negligence lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric claiming that sparks from an electrical line started the fire, and that the company knew about the dangers and failed to act to prevent the wildfire from starting. It's alleged that had the utility shut off power, the Camp Fire would not have started.

Scooter Startup Sues Beverly Hills

An electric scooter company is suing the City of Beverly Hills for impounding its scooters and levying fines of more than $100,000.

In Bird Rides v. City of Beverly Hills, the startup says the city has "gone to the extreme" and violated the California Vehicle Code. Not only that, the lawsuit says, the city has violated state open-meeting, public participation, and environmental laws.

It sounds like a scattershot complaint except that a BigLaw firm filed the case, and it doesn't usually wing it. (Bird puns totally intended.)

California High-Speed Rail Settles Environmental Lawsuit

Nothing is ever really settled. It just seems that way.

The Earth used to be the center of the universe, but Copernicus changed all that. That's how the law works, too.

One day a matter is settled; the next day it starts all over again. When it comes to California's high-speed rail, one settlement agreement may not settle anything.