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

June 2011 Archives

Oksana Grigorieva Denied Appeal by California Court

Here's some Mel Gibson drama in the California Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals in the Second Judicial District of California (i.e., Los Angeles) has rejected a bid by Oksana Grigorieva to remove Mel Gibson's attorneys from a child custody case on the grounds of conflict of interest, reports the Associated Press.

Grigorieva was Mel Gibson's girlfriend, once upon a time. Now, she's in a bitter child custody case with her former beau, over the couple's 20-month old daughter. The Russian singer claims that she met with a partner at the firm representing Mel Gibson.

O'Melveny and Myers Honored by ABA for Pro-Bono Work

Pro-bono service is a very important part of a lawyer's career, so it is good to see the trailblazers in this area be recognized for their services. A law firm that has been at the forefront of the growing pro-bono movement in Los Angeles since the 1930's will be honored this year by the American Bar Association.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP will be recognized with one of five 2011 Pro Bono Publico Awards from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service on August 8, at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Assembly Luncheon during the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto.

AHF to Seek Review of Case over Condoms on Porn Sets

A California Appeals Court decision is facing some heat from AIDS groups. The Los Angeles Times reports that a local AIDS group is planning to appeal the California Appeals Court ruling in the Second Appellate District, which shot down the request to order county authorities to take stronger action in preventing the spread of HIV by requiring the use of condoms on porn film sets.

In 2009, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation requested a judge to compel local public health officials to help combat sexually transmitted diseases "stemming from the production of hardcore pornography in Los Angeles County."

California Death Row Costs $184M Per Year

With California’s recent proposed budget cuts for the state’s courts, prison overcrowding issues and overall state of economy, perhaps its legislators need to be thinking about other costs they can cut.

Costs such as the $184 million a year associated with the death penalty and California death row inmates, for example.

A recent study, conducted by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Arthur L. Alarcon and Loyola Law School professor Paula M. Mitchell lays out the real cost of the death penalty in California and estimates it at $9 billion by 2030.

Holographic Rogue Wills OK, California Court of Appeals Says

The California Court of Appeals presided over a unique probate case earlier this year. Ever heard of a rogue will? No, it’s not Sarah Palin’s will.

Rouge is certainly an apropos term especially in this case, because here, the will was quite inaccurate and the personalities involved were pretty preposterous.

A rogue will is that random, unknown little will that sneaks up on the presumptive heirs and catches them off guard. In many instances such will could be simple holographic wills. The case before the California Court of Appeals was known as Estate of Stoker and it’s the first California Appellate case to apply the “harmless error rule” that was passed by the State of California in 2008, writes the Wall Street Journal.

California Budget Cuts Scare Courts, Could Result in More Layoffs

Wednesday's proposed California budget cuts didn't get a warm welcome from the newly appointed Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye called the massive California budget cuts a "blow against justice," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The budget cuts were pushed through the California legislature earlier this week. Reports are now saying that California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the proposed budget, but courts aren't breathing sighs of relief just yet.

California Supreme Court Review: Techniques and Tactics

We've discussed how to get your case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in a different blog, but what about having your case heard by the California Supreme Court? Are the strategies any different?

California Lawyer Magazine has an informative article on the topic of securing high-court review in California. You see, it's not that easy to have the California Supreme Court hear your case. As such, you really need to have your game-face on and make the best pitch.

Vaughn Walker Recusal Not Needed in Prop 8 Case

Breaking News: Former judge Vaughn Walker did not need to recuse himself from hearing the Prop 8 same-sex marriage case. This ruling came in earlier today by federal judge James Ware, writes The Wall Street Journal.

If you're unfamiliar with the Vaughn Walker case, you're likely asking yourself why he needed to recuse himself.

The answer to that is very simple for Prop 8 supporters: Because he's gay.

SCOTUS Denies Cert on Cal. Supreme Court In-StateTuition Ruling

Is a California tuition law that benefits illegal aliens against the law? We might never know what the Supreme Court has to say on this matter, as the high court denied the petition of certiorari in the case of Martinez v. Regents of University of California.

The controversial California Supreme Court decision made its bid to the Supreme Court earlier this year. Unfortunately, it just didn't have what it takes to get the Supreme Court nod.

So, in case you missed the hoopla over Martinez v. Regents last year, here's a recap. The State of California had a policy in place which granted reduced in-state tuition at state colleges and universities for nearly all graduates from California high schools.

'Tax Lady' Roni Deutch Steps Down From CA Bar

You’ve seen her ads on television. She calls herself the “Tax Lady.”

Well, you won’t be seeing Roni Deutch’s commercials in California anymore. Roni Deutch resigned from the California State Bar last month, reports the California Bar Journal.

While this is a Superior Court case and not an appellate case or a California Supreme Court case, it’s nevertheless relevant to this blog as it affects California practitioners in all courts.

UPS Liable for Unpaid Meal and Rest, CA Appeals Court Says

In a recent ruling by the California Court of Appeals, the court reviewed a wage and hour lawsuit and addressed the issue of employer-provided meal periods and rest periods.

The employer in question is the Petitioner in the case, namely, United Parcel Service (UPS). In the wage and hour lawsuit, the California Court of Appeals looked at the Labor Code and discussed the liability of an employer who failed to provide a meal and rest period to employees. The question, essentially, was whether the statute authorized a penalty of one additional hour of pay for the missed meal or rest period or whether it was liable to pay two hours -- one hour of pay for the meal period and one hour of pay for the rest period.

California Supreme Court: 'Wannabe' Pimp's Conviction Upheld

Big pimpin is illegal, says the California Supreme Court.

Well, specifically, California's pandering law, essentially a prostitution law, applies to the "pimping industry," including unsucessful "wannabe" pimps, the California Supreme Court ruled earlier this week. This means that it is forbidden, under California's pandering law, for a pimp to try to recruit a current prostitute to join his employ.

The question at issue was this: If someone is already a prositute, is a pimp really in violation of the pandering laws in trying to solicit the prostitute to work for him?

Unemployed Law Grad Sues Thomas Jefferson School of Law

In an era where law jobs are scarce, is anyone surprised that unemployed law grads would eventually turn against their law schools?

While this blog typically covers cases in the California Appellate Courts or the California Supreme Court, this case is newsworthy for the California lawyer. A class action suit names the Thomas Jefferson School of Law as the defendant, claiming that the school misled law school applicants into believing that they stood a chance in the tough legal job market.