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


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.

LA Weekly Investor Lawsuit Continues

LA Weekly, long-known for its progressive coverage of Los Angeles culture, is having its own culture shock.

It's toxic litigation, the type that can tear apart any business. One investor is suing the others, alleging they are using the weekly newspaper to line their pockets.

A judge has denied a motion to end the case, but the litigation could spell the end for the publication. Some say the old LA Weekly is already dead.

Judge Cuts Monsanto Award From $289M to $78.5M

A San Francisco judge popped the balloon on a $250 million punitive damages award against Monsanto, but affirmed a jury verdict that found the company's weedkiller caused cancer in a former groundskeeper.

According to evidence at trial, the plaintiff contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma by repeatedly spraying high concentrations of Roundup. Judge Suzanne Bolanos upheld a $39.2 million compensatory damages award, and reduced punitive damages to $39.2 million.

The judge could still order a new trial if DeWayne "Lee" Johnson refuses the reduced award in Johnson v. Monsanto Company. As for his lawyer, he popped the corks too early.

Plaintiffs Sue Scooter-Makers for Abetting Assault

Facial lacerations, broken teeth, and fractured fingers.

It wasn't a fight; it was a scooter. But the injuries have turned into a legal battle against the scooter-makers.

In a proposed class-action filed in Los Angeles, plaintiffs say the manufacturers are responsible for their injuries. They say electric scooter riders assaulted them.