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

May 2012 Archives

All Sales Final? EFF Objects to eDrop-Off's Venue Shopping

Venue shopping, much like eBay shopping, requires a buyer beware mindset. No one should appreciate that more than an eBay vendor.

So it's slightly ironic that Corri McFadden, proprietress of eDrop-Off, (a high-end eBay consignment store that doesn't accept returns or exchanges), is looking to take back her lawsuit from a California federal court, so she can bring it in an Illinois federal court instead.

Cal. Appeals Court Tosses Boy Scout Abuse Lawsuit

Three brothers who claim that they were sexually molested for 10 years by a Boy Scout troop leader cannot sue the Boy Scouts of America for intentional infliction of emotional distress, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

California's Sixth Appellate District Court dismissed the brothers' claim on Thursday because they each failed to file by the time they turned 26. The decision comes mere months after the California Supreme Court applied the same statute of limitations in the Oakland clergy abuse case.

ADA Can't Save Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The City of Lake Forest is fighting local pot shops in both state and federal courts, with mixed results.

In February, the city had a setback when a California state appellate court ruled that “local governments may not prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries altogether, with the caveat that the Legislature authorized dispensaries only at sites where medical marijuana is ‘collectively or cooperatively ... cultivated.’” In that case, Lake Forest used zoning ordinances to force the Evergreen Holistic medical marijuana dispensary out of business by characterizing dispensaries as a categorical nuisance under the zoning code.

The California Supreme Court has agreed to review the decision.

Filing a Materialman's Lien? Don't Forget the 20-Day Notice

We’re going to take a page from Fight Club today.

The first rule of a materialman's lien is that you must serve a preliminary, 20-day notice to foreclose on the lien.

The second rule of a materialman’s lien — you guessed it — is that you must serve a preliminary, 20-day notice to foreclosure on the lien.

Are Pot Shops a Categorical Nuisance?

The California Supreme Court is set to decide whether medical marijuana dispensaries are a categorical nuisance, reports The Orange County Register.

In March, a California appellate court struck down a local injunction against a medical marijuana dispensary, holding that a city cannot shut down dispensaries as a wholesale nuisance.

The city in question is Lake Forest, California, which used zoning ordinances to force the Evergreen Holistic medical marijuana dispensary out of business. Under the Lake Forest municipal code, a zoning ordinance violation constitutes a per se categorical nuisance, so the city adopted an ordinance stating that "marijuana dispensaries are neither enumerated as a permitted use, nor as any other type of conditional or temporary use in any zoning district in the City."

Can Illegal Immigrants Practice Law in California?

The California Supreme Court will soon decide whether illegal immigrants can be licensed as attorneys in the state. The court issued an order on Wednesday directing the California Committee of Bar Examiners (Committee) to show cause why the court should admit an undocumented immigrant to the California State Bar, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Sergio Garcia, the undocumented immigrant at the center of the controversy, has passed the bar and the moral examination. His application to the California Bar, however, has stalled due to his immigration status. Garcia’s parents brought him to the U.S. when he was 17-months-old, and he has been waiting for a Green Card for 17 years, according to the ABA Journal.

What Triggers the Unfair Competition Statute of Limitations?

If you represent a company slapped with a lawsuit for unfair competition and untrue or misleading representations, keep in mind that the statute of limitations for such claims begins to run when a reasonable person would have discovered your client’s allegedly shady actions.

E*Poly Star manufactures and imports plastic bags and toilet paper, among other products, for sale to various state and local government entities. District attorneys from Los Angeles, Marin and Fresno Counties sued E*Poly Star for injunctive relief and civil penalties for unfair competition and untrue or misleading representations.

Alternative Legal Careers Are Cooking in California

Let’s talk about alternative legal careers.

Back in law school, the career services staff thought we were crazy when we said that we had no interest in practicing law. When we asked for assistance with alternative legal careers, they asked, “Why are you in law school?”

Cal Court Recognizes Tortious Interference with Inheritance

California’s Fourth Appellate District recognized the tort of intentional interference with an expected inheritance (IIEI) last week, joining the majority of other states in recognizing the tort of IIEI as a valid cause of action.

In addition to expanding California’s tort causes of action to include IIEI, the court outlined the components of an IIEI claim.

Jury Returns Mixed Verdict in Google, Oracle Lawsuit

The jury is back in the Google-Oracle copyright lawsuit, but the litigants may be headed for a mistrial.

After two years of litigation, a federal jury announced a verdict Monday in the Google-Oracle intellectual property battle. The jury found that Google infringed on some of Oracle's Java copyrights when developing its Android software, but jurors were unable to decide whether Google was protected under the fair-use doctrine, The Associated Press reports.

Cal. Supreme Court: No Attorney's Fees in Rest Break Dispute

The California Supreme Court has put a lot of thought into employee rest breaks this year.

In April, the court ruled that employers must make meal breaks available, but they don't have to force wage workers to take a break for a meal.

This week, the court ruled that a prevailing party cannot collect attorney's fees after winning a meal or rest break dispute.

Cal. Supreme Court Clarifies Child Molestation Penalty

The California Supreme Court ruled this week that a defendant convicted of sexual conduct with a child who has not yet reached his or her 11th birthday can be sentenced to life in prison.

The court's opinion clarified California Penal Code 288.7, which allows a court to sentence a defendant to a life term in prison for sexual conduct "with a child who is 10 years of age or younger."