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

October 2015 Archives

Right-To-Die Lawsuit Rejected by California Appeals Court

The Associated Press reported yesterday that a California appeals court rejected a lawsuit brought by Christy O'Donnell and two other terminally ill patients who sought to legalize the procedure for doctors to prescribe them fatal medication.

The court ruled that current law would criminalize physicians who helped patients commit suicide. The news comes as a blow to the patients in light of this month's signing of the California's physician-assisted suicide law. This is ironic because O'Donnell's face has become synonymous with California's freshly legalized right to drug-assisted suicide.

Blue Moon Is 'Craft Beer' ... Even If the Label Is Just Marketing Puffery

Another trademark violation case has been decided, but this time, it appears to have been in the favor those who make craft beer ... whatever that means.

What does the term "craft beer" mean to you? Does it evoke images of crusty, bearded men over rusty antique vats and hand-stirred mash? If it does, and you go out to buy a case of Blue Moon, the joke's on you.

Ticket App 'Fixed' Is Banned in Major California Cities

For those who suffer from a phobia of parking tickets, the app Fixed, which will "fix" your tickets, is something of a miracle. Considering the realities of faded curb paint, signs written in triple negatives, and ambiguous driveways, it's no wonder that drivers could use some help fixing tickets.

Not so fast, says three California cities. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland have now banned the ticket-fix app.

Nevada to Pay San Francisco $400k to Settle 'Patient Dumping' Suit

The State of Nevada has agreed to settle with San Francisco in the amount of $400,000 in a lawsuit over allegations that the Silver state wrongfully bused over psychiatric patients to San Francisco without the funds to pay for their care.

The deal still must be approved by the Nevada Board of Governors and by a similar board sitting in San Francisco. If approved, it will be a welcome close to San Francisco's grievances against Nevada. The issue began in 3013 when it was discovered that as many as 1,000 mentally handicapped or indigent patients had been shipped out of the state to fend for themselves.

Deported Immigrants Will Get Due Process, Feds Foot the Bill

Immigrants who suffered mental disabilities and were forced to leave the United States will finally have their day in court -- with competent representation.

A Federal judge sitting in Los Angeles, Hon. Dolly Gee, approved a settlement that would allow hundreds of deported immigrants suffering from severe mental disabilities to return to the United States to contest their deportation with the aid of the ACLU. The nearly 900 plaintiffs brought a class action suit against against Eric Holder in 2011; and the ruling comes to them as a victory.

California Colleges May Not Have a Duty to Protect Students, Court Rules

A California Appeals Court just reaffirmed a rule that California colleges and universities do not owe a general duty to their student body to protect them from the violent acts of other students. It found that UCLA student, Katherine Rosen, was owed no duty by the university to ensure her safety from a paranoid, knife wielding fellow student.

The ruling was handed down almost six years to the day of the attack in question. The appeals court based its decision on California case law and not federal law. It also comes amidst increased debate all generally concerned about the proper role of university administrators regarding student behavior and safety.

California voters may be able to express their opposition to Citizens United when they go to the ballot box. The California Supreme Court seems poised to allow a public referendum, proposed by the state legislature, on whether the Constitution should be amended to overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which removed limits on corporate and union political contributions.

Of course, the ballot measure, if allowed, would have no actual impact on the Court's decision or the U.S. Constitution. Instead, the real issue before the California Supreme Court is whether and to what extent, the legislature can place advisory measures on the ballot.

With the stroke of a pen yesterday, California became the fifth and largest state to allow physician-assisted suicide when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act. The Act allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to mentally competent adults suffering from a terminal illness.

The bill had divided medical, ethical, and religious groups. Advocates argued that physician-assisted suicide allows death with dignity for terminally ill patients who could otherwise suffer excruciating ends. Others objected to doctors taking patient lives under any circumstances.