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

January 2012 Archives

Court Sides with Commission on California Redistricting Maps

The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Citizens Redistricting Commission's new State Senate maps on Friday. The Court's decision means that Democrats will likely secure a two-third majority in the State Senate come fall, which would allow them to pass tax bills without Republican cooperation, reports The Sacramento Bee.

The Citizens Redistricting Commission -- a new body created through a 2008 ballot measure to adjust voting districts after the decadal census -- released new voting district maps in August 2011. Republicans challenged the implementation of the senate and congressional maps on constitutional and statutory grounds, and lost.

Calm Your Pre-Trial Nerves with FindLaw's Legal News App

There are a number of ways that you can while away the day on your iPhone. Angry Birds. Facebook. Antograph. Apps, you see, have replaced eyes as the windows to the soul.

Now, California lawyers have a new app option: the FindLaw Legal News App.

Sure, legal news is available all over the Internet, but the FindLaw Legal News App lets you search by topic, (e.g., criminal, injury, family), or geographic location, (e.g., Los Angeles, New York, Chicago), to quickly find the news that's relevant to you. That saves you time, and relieves the guilt associated with reading information that you can't bill for.

Parent Can Demand Teacher's Personnel Record under CPRA

California's Second Appellate District Court ruled today that parents can request records involving a school district's investigation and reprimand of one of its teacher under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).

In the case, Marken v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the teacher, Ari Marken, attempted to enjoin the release of the records, arguing that the disclosure of his personnel records was not authorized under the CPRA and would violate his constitutional and statutory rights of privacy.

Slaughterhouse Nine: Federal Preemption Bars Cal Meat Law

California cannot impose its own restrictions on how Golden State slaughterhouses must address non-ambulatory animals.

In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today in National Meat Association v. Harris, and ruled that the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) preempts a California statute that prohibits slaughterhouses from buying, selling, or receiving non-ambulatory animals.

Nothing Like California Medical Marijuana Law to Brighten the Day

Before you find yourself in a tizzy over this headline, let's be clear: We're not promoting marijuana use. Frankly, we write posts and headlines about marijuana because you, dear readers, like to read them. And for that, we thank you.

The latest news in California medical marijuana law is that the California Supreme Court has unanimously voted to review three medical marijuana cases involving local ordinances that limit or ban marijuana dispensaries, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Asbestos Ruling Favors Defendants in Products Liability Cases

The California Supreme Court issued an opinion last week in O'Neil v. Crane Co., a closely-watched products liability case that raised the question of whether a manufacturer could be held liable for a wrongful death caused by asbestos release from a third-party component part.

In a unanimous decision, the state’s highest court headed off a flood of litigation, ruling that a manufacturer may not be held liable in strict liability or negligence for harm caused by another manufacturer's product, unless the defendant’s own product contributed substantially to the harm.

Another Kim Kardashian Lawsuit: Suit Threatened?

Are California courts ready for another Kim Kardashian lawsuit?

As we discussed on this blog in July, Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy in a right of publicity claim, alleging that the company intentionally hired a Kardashian-kopy to promote its products in a television commercial.

But that's not the only litigation Kim's involved in; the most famous Kardashian is facing mounting legal battles, both as a plaintiff and a defendant.

Court to Clarify Statute of Limitations in Clergy Abuse Case

How long should a clergy abuse claim survive?

In 2010, the Holy See’s Promoter of Justice at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, indicated to the Italian Bishops’ Conference newspaper, Avennire, that statutes of limitations should not apply to clergy sex abuse cases. If the California Supreme Court adopts that position, it could open the door for “a rash of new clergy abuse lawsuits by long-ago victims against the Catholic Church,” reports The Washington Post.

CA Supreme Court to Broadcast Statewide Redistricting Case

Oral arguments for California's statewide redistricting case, Vandermost v. Bowen, will be broadcast live on Tuesday, January 10, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST.

Arguments will be broadcast and webcast live on California Channel, a public affairs network. An archived audiocast will be available on California Channel on Wednesday, January 11.

Court Strikes Binding Arbitration Due to Lack of Mutuality

In hindsight, mutuality of obligation seems quaint. Probably because it's one the first concepts we learned in contract law. (Mutuality is to law school what "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" is to piano lessons.)

But according to California's Third Appellate District, mutuality still matters in employment agreements.

District Court Enjoins New California Low Carbon Fuel Standard

A federal judge in California barred the state from moving forward with cleaner fuel requirements last week.

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill in Fresno ruled on Friday that the low-carbon fuel rule violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution because it favors California-produced biofuels over crude oil and biofuels produced outside California, reports The Washington Post.