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

November 2012 Archives

California Adopts Judicial Ethics Changes

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court announced that the state's justices had unanimously adopted amendments to the California Code of Judicial Ethics based upon the recommendations of the court's Advisory Committee on the Code of Judicial Ethics.

The changes take effect January 1, 2013.

Business Goodwill: You Can't Lose What You Never Had

This is almost a case of paving paradise and putting up a parking lot.

Almost — because you may not know what you've lost until it's gone, but you can't recover what you never lost.

In a matter of first impression, a California appellate court ruled this week that a business cannot recover for loss of goodwill in an eminent domain action unless the business had goodwill to lose.

We Are Not 'Slaves to the Tyranny of Literalness'

Today's California appeal includes stalking, dead animals, broken golf clubs and windows, and the definition of a victim.

Nancy Clayburg was convicted of two counts of stalking, and sentenced to prison for two years, eight months. The named victim of one of the stalking counts was "B.," Clayburg's former husband and the father of her daughter.

Attorney Can Demand County Litigation Bills for Her Colleagues

A California appellate court ruled last week that a surrogate for a party to a pending lawsuit against a public entity may obtain documents under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) relating to the attorney fees charged by litigation counsel for the public entity.

The court concluded that the CPRA "does not allow limitations on access to a public record based upon the purpose for which the record is being requested, if the record is otherwise subject to disclosure." Therefore, the mere fact that an attorney may be seeking public records to assist her colleagues in connection with a pending action was irrelevant.

Who Has it Better Than We Do? Illinois, DC, and New York

There are plenty of perks that come with living in California. Gorgeous landscapes. Fantastic weather. Generally progressive work environments. But when it comes to the highest concentration of the best law firms for women, Illinois has California beat.

This week, Flex-Time Lawyers and Working Mother released their latest list of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women. Nine Illinois firms made the cut. Eight firms in Washington D.C. were recognized. Six New York firms were honored.

There are only five California firms on the list.

ACLU, EFF Sue to Block Prop 35

Tuesday, California voters approved Proposition 35, a measure to increase fines and prison sentences for sex trafficking, as well as require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders and disclose internet activities and identities, the Huffington Post reports.

The measure would affect approximately 73,000 currently-registered sex offenders in the state, and require human trafficking convicts to register as sex offenders.

At first blush, it seems like a no-brainer. Human trafficking is bad, and we should punish it. But a number of groups opposed the proposition, citing concerns like a lack of victim restitution, costs, unintended consequences for those who willingly choose to be sex workers, and privacy concerns.

Sleep Driving Defense Has Its Limits

Sleep driving is a scary phenomenon, and it's becoming more common. More than 60 million Americans take prescription sleep aids, according to an ABC News report this year.

Sleep driving, however, isn't a defense to driving under the influence when a defendant voluntarily takes Ambien.

Your Defendant's Mother Probably Isn't an Agent for Service

If you have to serve process on a defendant, and that defendant no longer lives in the U.S., you can’t simply serve process on his mom.

California courts want you to know that there’s a little thing called the Hague Convention, and you have to show that you either complied with it — or it didn’t apply — in order to bring a case in California against a defendant based in a foreign land.

Judge Dismisses Britney Spears Lawsuit for Lack of Evidence

Sam Lufti claims he was Britney Spears' manager during some of Brit's darkest hours. We're talking about the head-shaving, beating-an-SUV-with-an-umbrella days that made Kevin Federline look like a model of parental stability.

The problem with Lufti's claim is that he doesn't have a signed contract.

Juvenile Court Needs More than Drug Use to Take Child from Mom

Eleven-year-old Destiny and her mother came to the attention of the Department of Children and Family Services in September 2011 when someone called the Department and alleged that Destiny was being sexually abused by an unknown perpetrator. The local police and the DCFS concluded after an investigation that the allegation was "unfounded."

In the course of that investigation, however, Destiny's mother admitted that she had a history of methamphetamine and marijuana use. She told the DCFS worker that she smokes marijuana on a weekly basis, but not around Destiny. She also told the worker that she had stopped using methamphetamine "over a year ago" but a drug test the same day came back positive.