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

August 2012 Archives

Kim Kardashian, Old Navy Settle: Kopy-Kim Banned from Ads?

The Kim Kardashian Old Navy lawsuit has been settled through mediation, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Sadly, the most famous Kardashian won't be duking it out with the budget retailer in court over her right of publicity.

But could this settlement prompt an entirely new lawsuit?

Stanford Grad's Defamation Case Plagued by Inadmissible Evidence

It's not uncommon to hear about law students and alumni suing law schools these days -- the job market is terrible, and people are struggling under the burden of unemployment and law school debt -- but it's interesting when an alumna suggests that a professor at her law school is interfering with her ability to find employment.

And it's downright sensational when the unemployed lawyer is a Stanford Law School graduate.

Ex Must Pay Spousal Support to 'Remarried' Wife

Perhaps you've never considered the similarities -- and differences -- between ducks and weddings.

But you're probably familiar with the "duck test." If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

The same cannot be said for marriages, according to a California Appellate Court.

Apple Samsung Verdict: Apple Wins $1.05 Billion

After only three days of jury deliberations, the "epic" battle between Apple and Samsung over phone and tablet designs is decided.

Apple is the big winner.

Big Change in California Torts: No More Release Rule

We occasionally like to joke that a minor rule amendment changes everything.

All kidding aside, yesterday's California Supreme Court decision in Leung v. Verdugo Hills Hospital literally changes the face of tort law in the Golden State. The biggest news: The release rule is gone. Instead, the court has adopted the setoff-with-contribution approach.

Pot Shot: Patients Sue to Stop L.A. Marijuana Dispensary Ban

The Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary is facing a fight from medical marijuana advocates.

In July, the Los Angeles City Council adopted Ordinance 182190. The ordinance prohibits “medical marijuana businesses, while preserving the limited state law medical marijuana criminal immunities, until such time as the California Supreme Court rules regarding what cities can and cannot regulate and the City enacts new medical marijuana legislation consistent with that judicial guidance.” The ordinance is set to become effective on September 6.

Cal. Supreme Court Vacates 110 Year Sentence for Juvenile Offender

The California Supreme Court ruled last week that sentencing a juvenile offender to 110 years in prison qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment, reports the Los Angeles Times.

So what should be the upper limit for juvenile offenders?

Judge Koh to Apple Attorney: You Must be Smoking Crack

Forget about Marissa Mayer. Judge Lucy Koh is the most powerful woman in Silicon Valley right now.

Mayer may be feeding the masses at Yahoo! teriyaki chicken paninis, but Judge Koh force-fed Apple counsel a slice of humble pie this week in the Apple Samsung trial.

What Are The Limits on Killing Pests in California?

There was a very interesting case out of the Ninth Circuit recently on whether killing an opossum constitutes a crime. While this is a Ninth Circuit case and we have a separate blog for that, the case presents some interesting issues of California law.

Is killing an opossum a crime in California? What are the limits on animal cruelty in California, when the animal is a “pest”?

Insurers Must Pay State in Riverside Toxic Dump Litigation

The state of California is enjoying a major win today this week in the California Supreme Court. On Thursday, the court ruled that policy holders from multiple insurers can collect separately from every insurer for damages that occur over a long period of time, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Supreme Court ruling ends a decades-long dispute between the state and insurance companies for a multi-million dollar payout to clean up the Stringfellow Acid Pits in Riverside County, reports The Associated Press.

Death Penalty Stands for Lynwood Cop-Killer

The California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in the killing of a police officer, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The unanimous decision came down on Monday, where the court rejected the appeal of Enrique Parra Duenas. Duenas was behind the fatal shooting of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Hoenig in 1997, according to Patch.

DOJ Opposes Sergio Garcia's Admission to State Bar

The United States Department of Justice is giving its opinion on the pending California Supreme Court case of Sergio Garcia.

Unfortunately for Garcia’s case, the DOJ isn’t in favor of illegal immigrants practicing law in the United States, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Posting on Facebook? Be Wary of California Ethics Rules

Many lawyers are turning to social media and it’s not always clear what the rules are.

The State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct issued a proposed ethics opinion on how California attorneys should conduct themselves when using social media.

Cal. App. Court Strikes Down Mandatory Arbitration Clause

In an earlier post, we talked about the limited enforceability of non-compete clauses in California employment agreements, when we discussed Marissa Mayer’s move from Google to Yahoo.

Now, a California Court of Appeals has decided a case involving arbitration clauses in employment agreements. The court invalidated such a clause in a Neiman Marcus employment agreement.