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Law Limiting California Gun Sales Survives Supreme Court

Declining to hear a closely-watched gun case, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a decision that California gun dealers have no Second Amendment right to sell firearms.

Without explanation or comment, the Supreme Court inaction effectively upholds a ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Teixeira v. County of Alameda. In that case, the appeals panel said the Constitution does not "confer a freestanding right on commercial proprietors to sell firearms."

Gun industry representatives decried the results, claiming state and local laws will be unleashed on them. For gun-control advocates, however, it is another notch in the drawn out gun control battle.

California Bill to Protect Immigrants From ICE in Court

California lawmakers have passed a bill to protect immigrants from questions about their legal status in court.

If signed by the governor, it will become the first of its kind in the nation. Gov. Jerry Brown, who has already made strident efforts to protect immigrants, is expected to sign the proposed law and make it effective immediately.

The latest bill is another line in the sand between President Trump and states that have offered sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. In the Golden State, the real border wall is starting to look like an impasse between the White House and the State Capitol.

California Gig Workers Win More Benefits at State Supreme Court

The gig economy may never be the same after the California Supreme Court expanded the definition of employee to include workers who had been treated as independent contractors.

In Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the state supreme court resolved an issue that has been at the heart of litigation against companies like Uber and Lyft. Although every case is different, there is a new standard in California.

Independent contractors are workers who perform work that is "outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business," the high court said. That ruling is a gig economy game-changer.

Monsanto Loses Challenge to Prop. 65 Cancer Listing

This just in: Roundup, the weed killer, is also not good for humans.

Or as a California appeals court explained in Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Roundup contains a chemical that is "probably carcinogenic to humans." It is not exactly news because state health officials concluded glyphosate is a potential carcinogen last year.

However, the court decision is big news to an industry that fought against the official taint on the widely used herbicide. It is probably not death to agriculture companies, but it's enough to make them sick.

Officer Can't Arrest Student for 'Abysmal' Truancy, Court Rules

What do you do when your kids won't get out of bed and go to school?

Send them to their room. No wait, that won't work. Take away their cell phone? Pull out your hair?

When all else fails, call the cops. You think that's a joke? So did a California appeals court in People v. R.M.

Stan Lee Sues Ex-Business Manager for Blood?

Stan Lee, the 95-year-old creator of superheroes and a comic book empire, has entered the legal world "mad as hell."

In a Los Angeles lawsuit filed as Lee v. Olivarez, the Hollywood icon alleges that his former business manager defrauded him, converted his money, and misappropriated his name and likeness. Jerardo Olivarez is one of many many "unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists" who sought to take advantage of Lee following the death of his wife last year, the complaint says.

It is a sad tale for a man who has entertained and inspired generations, especially because Lee appears to deny the allegations in a video that was released prior to the lawsuit. Like some Stan Lee stories, it definitely has a dark side.

News Media Sue California to Access All Portions of Executions

In a new lawsuit, journalists say they want to see everything that goes on during executions in California.

The procedure for lethal injections at San Quentin State Prison "intentionally places critical portions of the execution beyond public observation," the complaint says. The media are suing to see the whole process.

Also, new regulations say media witnesses must be removed if something goes wrong with an execution. That, in the world of controversial news, is what the media is waiting for.

California Coffee Retailers Must Include Cancer Warning

If your coffee didn't perk you up in the morning already, a new warning label may do it:

"This product contains ingredients known to the State of California to cause cancer." That's what a Los Angeles judge wants Starbucks to put on its coffee cups, or something like that.

In any case, the decision in Council for Education and Research on Toxics v. Starbucks Corporation definitely opened the eyes of coffee retailers.

Judge Tells 'A Shakespearean Tragedy, to Be Sure'

With a cue from Shakespeare, Justice Eileen Moore told the tragic tale of a wine collector who lost $18 million on his investment.

"Poor," if not "unfortunate," David Doyle insured his collection for $19 million, only to learn that a dealer had sold him counterfeit wine. And in a deeper cut, the insurance did not cover the loss in Doyle v. Fireman's Fund Insurance.

"A Shakespearean tragedy, to be sure," Moore wrote for California's Fourth District Court of Appeal. Playwrights aside, the judge knows about tragedy.

Dissolved Firm Has 'Narrow Interest' in Fees From Exiting Partners

In a lawyerly-watched case, the California Supreme Court said dissolving law firms have no right to fees for unfinished hourly matters that partners take to new firms.

Heller Ehrman v. Davis Wright Tremaine is a significant bankruptcy case because it involved a dispute between a bankrupt law firm and its departing partners. A bankruptcy administrator made claims for fees against more than a dozen other law firms in the case.

The court decision may be more important to lawyers who leave their firms than to bankruptcy attorneys, however. The last thing most lawyers want to do is pay their old law firms.