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

June 2014 Archives

Iskanian Changes Employment Lawsuits, Arbitration, PAGA Actions

We've been waiting for the Iskanian decision for some time, and as predicted, it changes a lot when it comes to California employment law.

California has been an employee-friendly state for a while, with its Supreme Court holding previously that arbitration clauses that waive class action remedies were often unconscionable and unenforceable. But then, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a series of pro-arbitration rulings, including AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, which wiped out that entire line of California cases by holding that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law and allows for such waivers.

Cal. Updates: Another Supreme Court Vacancy, Tenure Legislation

Earlier this year, Justice Joyce Kennard announced that she would retire from the California Supreme Court. When she did, we took a look at the court's possible ideological shift, as well as other potential retirees. It's no surprise to us, then, that another one of the justices has decided to step aside: Justice Marvin Baxter.

And this month, a landmark ruling in a challenge to teacher tenure laws sent shockwaves through organized labor and teachers' unions. It's also wreaking havoc with pending state legislation.

Here, now are your updates.

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Randy Jackson Escapes 21-Year-Old Child Support Order

In 1989, Steven Randall "Randy" Jackson, one of the famed musical Jackson children, impregnated Alejandra Loaiza. She filed a complaint for acknowledgement of paternity and child support, along with a proof of service. Jackson does not deny that he is the father of the child, Genevieve Katherine Jackson, or of their second child, Steven Randall Jackson, Jr.

But, he claims that he was never served in the initial lawsuit. A proof of service claims otherwise. The following year, a law firm which represented him in a bankruptcy proceeding filed a substitution of attorney in the case, naming him as in pro per, but never filed a proof of service. That's two reasons to believe that he was served, but was it enough?

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Freed by Jury Mistake, Man Dies Hours Later; What's a June Jury?

We have this game in the office: "Fresno or Florida." It's inspired by Loveline's "Germany or Florida" game. The rules are simple: whenever asinine human conduct happens in America, we ask: Fresno or Florida?

  1. Guy arrested for Super Soaker shotgun? 
  2. Guy arrested for attacking a teenager with a burrito?
  3. Guy blames DUI on a squirrel?
  4. Guy killed by rooster at cockfight?
  5. Lady intentionally sets a brush fire after locking keys in car?

And today's entry: Jury makes mistake on a verdict form, setting a man free. Tragically, he is murdered for apparently unrelated reasons less than an hour later. Was it all thanks to a "June Jury"?

Teacher Tenure Unconstitutional, Violates Educational Opp. Right

Uh, yeah, you read that right: tenure is unconstitutional, and shocks the conscience. Or, to be a bit more clear, the effects of tenure are unconstitutional, says Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu.

How? It's simple: when you give someone a lifetime contract, sometimes that person begins to let their job performance suffer. And guess where terrible tenured teachers end up? The places nobody else wants to go -- schools in poorer neighborhoods. These schools, when staffed with burnouts, deprive the predominately poor and/or minority students of their state and federally guaranteed "equal education opportunity."

It's an interesting leap from tenured teachers to unequal education, one that is sure to be appealed. If it stands, however, it could be the beginning of a war on tenure nationwide.

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Calif. State Senator Wants Prop 187's Remnants Removed From Law

How many ridiculous, outdated, or otherwise unless laws remain on the books in any given state? Here in the golden-est of states, they may still be legion. But if California State Sen. Kevin de León is successful, the last vestiges of the one of the most troubling, Proposition 187, won't be one of them.

7 Hours Left: Is Anybody Actually Voting in Cal. Elections?

In an election widely expected to have an "embarrassingly low" turnout, the news isn't all yawn.

We've covered record spending and a District Attorney candidate that has been recently arrested multiple times for alcohol-related offenses (not to mention that time he dislocated a man's hip with his shoe). But this election isn't all fun and games -- there are actual issues to decide.

Just kidding. Now that state-wide citizens' initiatives have moved to the fall, the state's "top two" primaries are an "incumbent + [most popular opponent from other party]" snoozefest, otherwise littered with local dog catcher races.

Still, it's your civic duty, right? Here are a few notes (and notables) on the ballot: