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

July 2012 Archives

No Death Penalty Relief in 1986 Livermore Murder of Nurse

The California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Richard Tully on Monday, in a case stemming from the 1986 of a 59-year-old nurse in Livermore.

The opinion consists of 171 pages, so we’ll bring you the basics. For more in depth information on the case, you can read the entire People v. Tully case here.

Thomas Kinkade's Estate Battle Moves to Appeals Court

The fight over deceased artist Thomas Kinkade’s multi-million dollar estate will soon make its way up to the California Court of Appeals.

On July 24, attorneys for Thomas Kinkade’s estate filed an appeal with California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal, reports Patch.

Death Penalty Reversed in Killing of Dave Navarro's Mother

Last week, the California Supreme Court threw out the death sentence of a convicted killer, John Riccardi. The reversal was the result of the trial judge’s dismissal of a potential juror, on the basis of her written responses regarding the death penalty, reports the Associated Press.

Riccardi was convicted in the 1983 murder of musician Dave Navarro’s mother and friend. The victim, Connie Navarro, was Riccardi’s girlfriend, reports the LAist.

AG Kamala Harris Submits Brief in Support of Sergio Garcia

California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed a brief with the California Supreme Court last week, supporting Sergio Garcia’s case to be admitted to the California Bar, reports CBS News.

California’s Latino state legislators have also spoken out in support of Garcia, reports the Los Angeles Times. The California Legislative Caucus submitted a brief to the court in support of Garcia.

California Judges Want Reform...Now!

California judges want reform.

Over 90 percent of respondents are asking for immediate action from the Judicial Council to adopt recommendations made by the Strategic Evaluation Committee, reports Courthouse News. These recommendations would change the way the Administrative Office of the Courts operates.

Treasurer Bill Lockyer Might Ask for Alimony in Divorce Settlement

California State Treasurer, Bill Lockyer, has filed for divorce from his wife, Nadia, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Lockyer is a household name among California lawyers, thanks to his prominent tenure as the state’s Attorney General from 1999 to 2007.

As Attorney General, Bill Lockyer was unconventional. Bill was known for being a liberal Democrat who favored the death penalty. He shocked California judges by arguing cases personally, as Attorney General. In 2000, he appeared before the state Supreme Court in the case of Hi-Voltage Wire Works Inc. v. City of San Jose, a move that has been dubbed by California Lawyer Magazine as the most controversial thing he did as AG.

He is also recognized for establishing one of the largest civil rights offices in the country, and fighting against elder abuse.

Can Google Sue Marissa Mayer for Going to Yahoo?

What does California law say about non-competition agreements when a high-level executive from one company moves over to the competition?

If you’re in the Silicon Valley, you know where this conversation is going. Yahoo finally named a new CEO.

And here’s the kicker— they snatched up a high-level executive from the company that was driving them into the ground: Google.

Countdown to the California Bar Exam: What Do You Do?

Dear Aspiring California Lawyers:

Hi there! We hope your studies are progressing, your flashcards are finished, and your outlines are dog-eared and showing signs of love.

In two weeks, the unpleasantness that is the California bar exam will be behind you. You're probably getting nervous. That's normal. The most important thing you can do between now and July 26 is focus. Tune out everything else around you, and study.

County Can Remove Children from Negligent Parent's Home

Losing a child is the most painful event that a parent could ever endure, but the California Supreme Court will allow social services to match a loss of life with a loss of custody when a parent's negligence resulted in a child's death.

In In Re Ethan C., et al, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services can remove surviving children from a parent's home when the parent's negligence was the superseding cause in another child's death, even if the parent was not found criminally negligent in the death.

Need a Break? 5 Attorney Vacation Tips Before You Go

If you are fortunate enough to have a busy legal practice, it may be hard to force yourself to take a vacation. But you should consider it; a little time off can head off burnout.

Since we're in the middle of the summer, it seems like an appropriate time to discuss how to prepare to leave your office behind for a break. Here are five attorney vacation tips to help prevent your trip from causing you trouble:

Reversible Errors? Scott Peterson Files Death Penalty Appeal

Scott Peterson is appealing his death sentence to the California Supreme Court, reports the Modesto Bee. Peterson's attorney, Cliff Gardner, has filed a 470-page appeal with the state's highest court, arguing that the jurors for the trial were influenced by the media blitz surrounding the case and that the judge made reversible errors regarding the evidence.

Though Peterson was tried in Redwood City instead of Modesto, his hometown, he claims that the media spotlight on the trial swayed the jurors. "It is probably fair to say that there are not many cases in the history of California where the state obtained a guilty verdict and death sentence for murder absent of how, where or when the murder occurred," Gardner told the Bee.

Charles Carreon v. The Oatmeal: Case Dismissed, Everyone Wins

The downside of the adversarial system is that the parties in litigation are, you know, adversaries. Generally, only one can win.

Occasionally, there are cases in which both parties claim victories. That's what happened this week in Attorney Charles Carreon's personal lawsuit against The Oatmeal, IndieGoGo, the National Wildlife Federation, the American Cancer Society, and other defendants.