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

The employment landscape has changed drastically over the past year, with social media campaigns and even law student run groups affecting real change in the legal industry. Now, California employment lawyers might want to spend some time getting some relevant training to make sure they know what to do when a client shows up with a #MeToo case.

On either the plaintiff or defense side, in these divisive times, getting the right training to handle these matters can make the difference between winning your client's case and tanking the client's already tarnished reputation. Fortunately, the California Judges Association and The Rutter Group are offering an updated annual training, CJA/TRG Employment Litigation 2019: Facing Workplace Realities in Divisive Times, in just a few short weeks. (Disclaimer: The Rutter Group is a sister company to FindLaw.)

Lyft Sexual Assault Class Action

One Lyft rider has filed a class action lawsuit against the ride-hailing service, one driver, and several employees, alleging that she was sexually assaulted because of Lyft's many failures.

The rider's story is absolutely horrific. After making the smart decision to go home after getting drunk, she entered a Lyft car, then blacked out. And while she only remembers waking up the next morning in her bed, the surveillance cameras insider her home told a much scarier tale.

Court: Fining California's Poor Is Unconstitutional

A California appeals court ruled that court fines against poor defendants are unconstitutional.

In People v. Duenas, the Second District Court of Appeals reversed a $220 fee imposed on a woman for misdemeanor driving offenses. Velia Duenas was homeless and disabled, and didn't have the money.

She served over 50 days in jail because she could not afford the fine. The appeals court said that was unjust.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against The Weather Channel app due to the company's bait-and-switch geolocation policy and is hoping to send a message to other developers out there that plan to profit off mining their users' data.

That message: Be honest and upfront with app users about data-privacy. This case alleges unfair business practices under California law for misleading consumers when it came to the app's user data-privacy policy. When starting up, the app creates a popup advising users to share their location and that it will be used for specific things, none of which include sharing with third parties, or being used for advertising, or being monitored constantly.

Foie Gras Ban Back in Effect After SCOTUS Denies Review

If you are a fan of foie gras, you aren't going to like this decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

The High Court rejected a challenge to California's ban on the delicacy. The state law went into effect in 2012, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit upheld it.

If you are a fan of humane treatment of animals, the decision should be good news. That's because foie gras is made from the livers of duck and geese that have been force-fed.

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."