Monday, January 3, 2011
2010 IN REVIEW
END OF THE YEAR:
Chief Justice Ronald George Retires, Third District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye Approved As His Successor…Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley Loses Bid to Become Attorney General…State Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Law Giving Some Undocumented Immigrants In-State Tuition
4—Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Edward H. Drayer retired.
5—A Department of Fish and Game warden had no authority to stop a vehicle based upon mere suspicion the driver had just taken a lobster illegally, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled….The court also ruled that outside counsel may assist government lawyers in civil litigation under a contingency fee agreement.
7—Northrop Grumman confirmed that it would move its general counsel’s office to the Washington, D.C., area before summer 2011….The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed a misdemeanor charge of assault with a deadly weapon against local attorney and former Democratic Assemblyman Walter Karabian for allegedly hitting a parking attendant with his car during a USC football game in 2009.
8—The Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled that an ineffective assistance of counsel claim resulting from the making of a plea agreement waiving appellate rights cannot be barred by the agreement produced by the alleged ineffectiveness.
10—The Fourth District Court of Appeal revived a lawsuit against the state and the operators of a correctional facility which contracted with the state to house female prisoners with young children based on the alleged failure to provide medical care to an inmate’s two-month-old baby.
11—The State Bar of California announced that Executive Director Judy Johnson would step down in 2011….Police officers responding to a 14-year-old girl’s 911 call reporting domestic violence against her mother did not use excessive force when they deployed a Taser on the alleged victim to get past her to arrest her husband, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
14—The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence of Tommy Jesse Martinez, who was convicted of brutally raping and killing 25-year-old Sophia Castro Torres in 1996 and leaving her body on a baseball field in a Santa Maria park….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived the bulk of a civil rights lawsuit three wrongly-accused teenage murder suspects filed against authorities who helped arrest and charge them with the 1998 stabbing death of 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe in Escondido.
15—U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the Central District of California died at 69.
19—This district’s Court of Appeal rejected a conservative legal group’s request to force the Los Angeles Police Department to comply with state law requiring the Department of Homeland Security to be notified of the arrest of non-citizens for certain drug offenses.
21—The California Supreme Court reversed a decision throwing out suspended attorney Marilyn Kaye Freeman’s convictions for stalking, burglary and solicitation to commit kidnapping over her campaign against the foster parents caring for her daughter.
22—Irvine attorney Christopher Lee Diener and his business partner were arrested for allegedly defrauding over 400 victims in a $1.25 million loan modification scam that targeted distressed homeowners….La Canada attorney Walter Loustari, who was investigated as part of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement probe of hardcore child pornography on the Internet, pleaded no contest to felony charges of possessing child pornography and an assault rifle.
25—Former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Roosevelt Dorn, who ended his 18-year judicial career following his election as mayor of Inglewood in 1997, pled guilty to a misdemeanor conflict of interest charge less than 24 hours after resigning as mayor….The California Supreme Court ruled that a rape charge filed just prior to the expiration of the six-year limitations period, identifying the defendant only by his DNA profile, was timely….Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a dues bill for the State Bar after vetoing a bill the previous October.
26—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to force a Santa Barbara newspaper to temporarily rehire eight employees allegedly fired for union activity directed at pressuring the owner and publisher to refrain from exercising editorial control over news reporting.
27—This district’s Court of Appeal reversed the conviction of a local woman accused of aiding and abetting her younger brother in killing the man who had made derogatory comments about her sexual orientation in a liquor store parking lot….Justices also ruled that the City of Manhattan Beach must fully analyze the environmental impact of increased paper bag use before it can ban retailers from providing plastic bags to customers.
28—The First District Court of Appeal threw out a lawsuit against the publishers of Rolling Stone magazine by a group of musicians who claimed it misappropriated their identities to market Camel cigarettes….The California Supreme Court questioned the constitutionality of a provision of “Jessica’s Law” that lets authorities indefinitely confine sexually violent predators.
29—Former federal, state and local prosecutor and former Los Angeles County Bar Association President Andrea S. Ordin was sworn in as Los Angeles county counsel, becoming the 11th person—and the first woman—to hold the position since the office was established in 1913.
1—An attorney for California Chief Justice Ronald M. George said the jurist had apparently been given credit for political contributions from another individual sharing his name.
2—The Commission on Judicial Performance censured retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brett C. Klein and barred him from holding future judicial office or sitting on assignment, pursuant to a stipulation, for his handling of a class action against a women’s clothing store chain for alleged violations of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act. Klein ordered that class counsel’s fees be paid in gift cards….The 22-year sentence imposed on the so-called “Millennium Bomber” was excessively lenient, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
3—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, over the dissent of four judges, declined to review en banc a ruling upholding a federal ban on body armor possession by felons.
5—Former State Bar employee Sharon Elyce Pearl, who stole over $600,000 in rent payments to the organization, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison….The First District Court of Appeal severely criticized San Mateo Superior Court Judge Susan I. Etezadi, hinting that her use of the contempt power to repeatedly jail Henry J. Koehler, a suspended attorney who failed to pay $10,000 in discovery sanctions, was misconduct.
7—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment throwing out suits against Sheriff Lee Baca by three jail detainees whose court-ordered releases in 2000 and 2001 were allegedly delayed for up to 29 hours without cause.
8—The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that possession of a cylindrical bicycle footrest does not violate the statute banning “metal knuckles”….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a suit alleging UC Davis violated federal law meant to promote gender equity in college athletics when it eliminated its women’s wrestling program….The Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed Court of Appeal Justice Tricia A. Bigelow as the presiding justice of this district’s Div. Eight.
9—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld San Francisco’s blanket policy of strip searching pre-trial arrestees who are classified for housing in the general jail population….The court also ruled that the government was required to disclose the names of individuals who lobbied in favor of retroactive liability protection for telecommunications carriers who participated in a warrantless, electronic surveillance program on millions of American telephones after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
11—The First District Court of Appeal rejected the state’s corrections officers union’s argument that the state did not increase supervisors’ compensation enough after an arbitrator directed it to increase pay and benefits for rank-and-file officers.
17—A member of the securities industry may be disciplined for misrepresentation in the sale of securities based on statements made in reckless disregard of the truth, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The court rejected claims by two San Diego-area salespersons that they innocently relied on representations by a broker/dealer as to the soundness of the investments they were selling….The Ninth Circuit also declined to suppress images of child pornography obtained without a warrant through a publicly available peer-to-peer file sharing computer program. The panel concluded that an FBI agent’s use of the LimeWire network to download and view files from a man’s IP address was not an unconstitutional search and seizure.
18—A company that gives workers unlimited leave for days that they are ill, pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, does not have to allow those employees to use such leave to care for sick family members as well, the state Supreme Court ruled….The high court unanimously held that a longtime California resident’s claim for asbestos-related cancer may be subject to a statute of repose in the state where the alleged exposure occurred….Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth A. Grimes to Div. Eight of this district’s Court of Appeal. He also named Karen M. Ackerson-Brazille, David R. Fields, Reva G. Goetz, Laura L. Laesecke, Sally L. Meloch, Shellie L. Samuels, and Paul T. Suzuki to judgeships in the Los Angeles Superior Court….A pair of white Los Angeles Fire Department captains disciplined in the wake of a black firefighter’s harassment complaint proved that they were discriminated against on the basis of race, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled, affirming a $1.6 million judgment.
22—The California Supreme Court overturned a ruling giving the ex-wife of a former sheriff a community property interest in California Public Employees’ Retirement System benefits that he earned during a previous marriage and later repurchased with community funds….This district’s Court of Appeal upheld a former Maywood police officer’s convictions for ramming a handcuffed suspect’s head into a wall, then covering up the incident in a false police report.
23—Restaurant wait staff members who make more than the minimum wage can be required to share their tips with other restaurant employees, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
24—President Obama nominated UC Berkeley School of Law professor and associate dean Goodwin Liu to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals….The Ninth Circuit rejected a request to enjoin a number of requirements imposed on motor carriers by the Port of Los Angeles’ Clean Trucks Program....The San Fernando Valley Bar Association did not violate the unfair competition law by refusing to sell its membership list to a disbarred attorney who wanted to solicit business as a mediator, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
25—Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David M. Schacter died at 68….The family of a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy killed when his motorcycle collided with the car of a man driving home from work can seek to hold the man’s employer liable, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled.
26—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Chidsey retired.
28—Fourth District Court of Appeal Justice Barton Gaut retired from Div. Two….Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Friedman retired.
1—The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld Jeffery Jon Mills’ death sentence for the 1994 rape and murder of 21-year-old Sacramento woman Sherri Farrar.
2—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger acted within his constitutional authority when he exercised a line-item veto last year that cut funding for health care programs, the First District Court of Appeal ruled….Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Mink retired.
3—The district’s Div. Five threw out a former client’s lawsuit against Reed Smith LLP and one of its partners based on the attorney’s actions opposing the client’s proposed development project after the representation ended.
4—The Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled that written and recorded witness statements taken by counsel are not attorney work product….Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Steven K. Lubell retired.
5—The state may collect taxes on income derived from a tribal gaming operation by a member who resides on another tribe’s reservation, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled….The Third District Court of Appeal threw out the homicide convictions of two members of the Jus Brothers motorcycle club for the 2004 stabbings of two men, one fatally, in a Stockton bar. The court said evidence of Robert Memory and Frankie Prater’s affiliation with the club was irrelevant and prejudicial.
9—Attorney General Jerry Brown opined that the California Department of Transportation is not prohibited from granting preferences to members of Indian tribes when hiring for, or contracting out, road construction and maintenance work on roads located on American Indian land.
11—The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the conviction and death sentence of Jonathan D’Arcy, who in 1993 doused Tustin bookkeeper Karen Laborde with gasoline in her office and set her on fire with a cigarette lighter as revenge over a paycheck he thought was being withheld….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency, rejecting arguments that the phrases violate the separation of church and state.
12—Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard E. Denner died at 69.
15—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Service Employees International Union against some of its former officers seeking restoration of property allegedly taken when the defendants broke away to form a rival labor organization….Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Dennis Shanklin retired.
16—The Los Angeles Superior Court laid off 329 employees amid an ongoing budget crisis.
17—The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence of Richard C. Gamache, who in 1992 kidnapped San Bernardino County couple Lee and Peggy Williams after stealing their horses and then shot them in the back of the head as they lay face down in the desert.
18—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it would not review en banc a panel ruling allowing Muslim and former college football star Abdullah al-Kidd to sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft personally for adopting the policies that led to al-Kidd’s detention.
19—The First District Court of Appeal ruled that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may not impose mandatory furloughs on the attorneys, administrative law judges and hearing officers who work for the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
23—The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that a county office of education could not be held liable for the death of a sixth grade student during a 2006 field trip to an outdoor school facility owned and operated by the district….An employment-screening business may provide information garnered from California’s online database of registered sex offenders to its clients, notwithstanding statutory prohibitions on the use of such information for purposes relating to employment, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
24—The California Supreme Court left standing a Court of Appeal ruling allowing outside counsel to assist government lawyers in ordinary civil litigation on a contingency fee basis.
25—President Obama nominated U.S. District Judge Mary H. Murguia of the District of Arizona to join the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals….This district’s Court of Appeal revived a suit against the Los Angeles Unified School District by an elementary school student who was physically and sexually assaulted after school on school grounds by her peers.
26—A group of breakaway Episcopalians, whose dispute with their former national church over ownership of a Newport Beach parish led to a state Supreme Court ruling, could no longer take the matter to trial, a divided panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled.
29—An action alleging that a lawyer’s mishandling of a patent application caused his client to lose intellectual property rights cannot be brought in state court, the Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled.
31—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a California statute banning the slaughter of animals unable to walk to their death. The panel rejected claims by swine slaughterhouses that federal law preempted the statute….A federal judge ruled that government investigators illegally wiretapped the phone conversations of an Islamic charity and two American lawyers without a search warrant….Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Murray Gross retired….Los Angeles Public Defender Mike Judge retired.
5—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth A. Grimes was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments as a justice on Div. Eight of this district’s Court of Appeal….The replacement of one court-appointed attorney with another over a possible conflict of interest, even over the objection of the defendant, does not violate the constitutional right to counsel, the California Supreme Court ruled.
6—This district’s Court of Appeal ordered publication of its opinion that a Los Angeles city ordinance requiring a permit for persons in “the business of buying, selling, exchanging or otherwise dealing in secondhand books” does not apply to those who collect books for personal enjoyment.
7—The family of a woman whose remains were allegedly mishandled by the UCLA Willed Body Program had no negligence claim against the university, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled.
8—Communications between attorneys and clients during mediation do not fall within the purview of mediation confidentiality, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
9—A putative class action against the consumer finance arm of Mitsubishi Motors, alleging that it violated consumer protection laws by seeking deficiency judgments against owners of repossessed vehicles without serving proper notice, was revived by the Fourth District Court of Appeal….Paying imprisoned inmates as little as 19 cents per hour for their work does not violate the Constitution or international law, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
12—The Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished Trinity Superior Court Judge Anthony C. Edwards….Vijay “Jay” C. Gandhi was named a magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Gandhi is the first Indian-American federal judge in the Central District and the second Indian-American federal judge in the country’s history….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s failure to disclose a letter to an eyewitness promising not to prosecute him for his drug-dealing activities did not prejudice four teenagers convicted of killing the 16-year-old son of a Los Angeles Police Department officer in 1995.
13—Awards under a state law allowing recovery of compensation paid to unlicensed contractors can be discharged in bankruptcy, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
14—An action seeking to enjoin a trade organization from certifying beauty and personal care products as meeting the group’s standards as “organic” was not a strategic lawsuit against public participation, the First District Court of Appeal ruled….The California Supreme Court declined to block the family of an 18-year-old Orange County woman who died in a vehicle collision from suing two California Highway Patrol officers who allegedly leaked grisly photos of the crash that ended up on the Internet, drawing taunts against her family.
15—The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Brandon Taylor’s death sentence for the 1995 felony murder of Rosa Mae Dixon, an 80-year-old San Diego woman who apparently died of fright during a sexual assault.
16—This district’s Court of Appeal upheld a Los Angeles School District Police officer’s conviction for sexually assaulting a young woman while purporting to conduct a field sobriety test and search for weapons….Encino attorney Mervyn H. Wolf, a lawyer for 40 years, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges for taking settlement funds from clients and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and three years of summary probation.
19—An alien facing removal from the United States after using a fraudulent marriage to obtain residency may seek a waiver following a second marriage to a citizen, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
20—U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Assistant Chief Counsel Constantine Peter Kallas was found guilty of three dozen corruption-related charges for taking a series of bribes from immigrants who were seeking documentation to remain in the United States….This district’s Court of Appeal ruled that a man’s alleged sexual abuse of his 2-year-old son’s 12- and 14-year-old half-sisters supported a finding that the boy was also at risk.
22—Los Angeles Superior Court Civil Division Supervising Judge Elihu M. Berle said the court was beginning a pilot program to see if it can cut costs and avoid court closures by having groups of five judges share four sets of staff members.
23—Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Marc D. Lauper retired….The Office of the State Chief Information Officer, the state’s technology oversight agency, recommended that the troubled California Court Management System go forward.
26—A sharply divided federal appeals court upheld certification of the largest gender bias class action in U.S. history against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
28—The First District Court of Appeal rejected a challenge to San Francisco’s application of its hotel tax to charges for guests’ parking….The California Supreme Court declined to review a ruling rejecting damage claims by Charles and Alane West, a Los Angeles County official and his wife, against District Attorney Steve Cooley over searches of the official’s home and the wife’s business….The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn an injunction that would have required removal of a congressionally-endorsed war memorial cross from its longtime home atop a remote rocky outcropping in California’s Mojave Desert. The court directed a district judge to reconsider Congress’ plan to transfer the patch of U.S. land to private ownership.
29—The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence for Stephen M. Redd, a onetime deputy sheriff for Los Angeles County convicted of killing a supermarket manager during a 1994 robbery in Yorba Linda.
30—Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Lori-Ann C. Jones retired following release of her June 2009 testimony before a grand jury looking into allegations that Deputy District Attorney Serena Murrillo was offered a bribe to drop out of the contest for a Los Angeles Superior Court judgeship ultimately won by Judge Harvey Silberman….A federal district judge acted within his authority by denying the state’s motion to terminate a receiver’s oversight of California prison health care, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled….The Ninth Circuit said the City of Long Beach could not limit contributions to political committees that make independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates in city elections….The court also revived a lawsuit alleging that a movie theater chain’s failure to provide closed captioning and audio descriptions for the hearing and visually impaired violated the Americans with Disabilities Act….La Canada attorney Walter R. Luostari was sentenced to six months in jail and up to three years of probation for having child pornography on his home computer and for possessing an assault rifle.
2—Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Marilyn L. Hoffman died.
4—Longtime Association of Deputy District Attorneys President Steven J. Ipsen stepped down and Hyatt Seligman assumed the post.
5—A prisoner who claimed that a Jewish chaplaincy violated his civil rights by denying him assistance based on its conclusion that he is not Jewish could sue the group under federal statutes, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
6—The Fourth District Court of Appeal threw out a Riverside County woman’s drug conviction because one member of the jury was away at a job interview when the remaining 11 jurors returned their verdict….The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing did not abuse its discretion by suspending the credential of a fifth-grade teacher with three drunk driving convictions, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled.
7—State law requiring relief from default or dismissal due to an attorney’s mistake, inadvertence, surprise or neglect applies to in-house counsel, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled.
10—A defendant’s claim that he strangled his victim as part of a suicide pact does not require a trial judge to instruct a jury on aiding and abetting suicide, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled….The state high court reinstated an Oakland man’s assault conviction for causing the death of his 14-month old son during a bout of play-wrestling.
11—This district’s Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s decision to toss out a suit claiming Univision Music tried to force a local Latino record label into keeping silent about a scheme to bribe radio stations into airing the company’s music….A defendant’s request to refer to his prior assault-with-a-deadly-weapon conviction simply as a generic felony involving “moral turpitude” opened the door to an instruction that the term meant “a readiness to do evil,” the Third District Court of Appeal ruled….Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Emily Stevens and William Weisman retired.
12—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a district court’s decision that a plaintiff’s reliance on his former attorney as a witness to an alleged coverup of wrongdoing at the plaintiff’s workplace waived any protection afforded by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine.
13—This district’s Court of Appeal threw out a suit against the Los Angeles Unified School District by a student who said she was repeatedly fondled by a fourth-grade elementary school teacher in Tujunga….A deeply divided California Supreme Court ruled that the widow of a longtime smoker was foreclosed from pursuing a wrongful death action against Philip Morris USA Inc. by her earlier attempt to recover damages for loss of consortium.
14—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Los Angeles man’s convictions for mailing envelopes containing threatening letters and white powder to celebrities and politicians in 2006….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a company which operated a website through which various con artists and fraudsters drew over 150,000 bad checks totaling over $400 million was liable for violating the Federal Trade Commission Act.
17—The California Supreme Court ruled that a suit over a law firm’s advertisement telling newspaper readers they might have a case if their deck was built with a certain manufacturer’s screws could be dismissed as a strategic lawsuit against public participation….Attorneys who had no contact with a client for two years after she agreed to settle a case by making structured payments might still have been her counsel, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled, reviving a malpractice action.
18—This district’s Court of Appeal ruled that a California Highway Patrol officer who responded to the scene of a single-car collision was not liable for failing to summon medical assistance to treat a passenger later rendered paraplegic by spinal injuries she sustained in the crash.
19—A statute that allows the alien child of a U.S. citizen to apply for a waiver of removal applies to an applicant whose citizen parent has died, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled….A federal magistrate in San Francisco ordered a Northern California Internet service provider to pay over $800,000 in attorneys’ fees to an Internet marketing company in order to deter abuse of the CAN-SPAM Act’s private right of action for profit.
20—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Arizona community college district’s alleged failure to respond to three racially charged e-mails sent by a professor to all of the district’s employees did not create a hostile work environment.
21—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of an Arizona law giving “matching funds” to participants in the state’s voluntary public election campaign financing scheme who face candidates that opt to rely on private fundraising instead.
24—The Fourth District Court of Appeal published its ruling that a San Diego judge should have stayed dependency proceedings involving children of a Navy technician who presented a letter from his commanding officer indicating that he had to deploy to Iraq and could not attend a hearing….The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the death sentence in the case of an ex-convict convicted of the 1991 killing of 25-year-old Ronald Gitmed, a developmentally disabled man, in an isolated section of Riverside County.
25—This district’s Court of Appeal upheld a $3 million verdict against Warner Bros. Entertainment based on a claim that the company undervalued and underpaid the license fees attributable to certain films that it licensed to broadcasters as a package deal.
26—Authorities violated the Constitution when they failed to tell a father with legal, but not physical, custody that they were detaining his daughter and placing her with another family at her mother’s agreement, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled….The Ninth Circuit ruled that a Los Angeles city ordinance regulating the use and placement of billboards is constitutional and threw out a district court order enjoining enforcement of the law.
27—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment permits states to disenfranchise convicted felons, regardless of whether their offenses were recognized as felonies at common law, and that conditioning the restoration of their right to vote upon the payment of their criminal fines and restitution was not unconstitutional….The California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Scott Forrest Collins for the murder of Fred Rose, a construction superintendent.
28—This district’s Court of Appeal ordered publication of its ruling that Proposition 213, which bars an uninsured motorist from recovering non-economic damages in certain cases, applied to a plaintiff who accidentally spilled hot coffee on herself after purchasing it at a fast food drive-up window….A judge hearing rape charges against a former Bay Area prosecutor did not abuse his discretion by appointing counsel from a local conflicts panel rather than giving the job to the defendant’s former retained counsel, the First District Court of Appeal ruled.
31—Fifth District Court of Appeal Justice Steven M. Vartabedian retired.
2—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed urgency legislation reinstating a ban on the possession of body armor by violent felons….The State Bar Court ordered attorneys Eric D. Johnson of Los Angeles and Mark A. Shoemaker of Long Beach placed on involuntary inactive enrollment over accusations of loan modification misconduct….A juvenile court judge could not order medical treatment for a minor when no dependency proceeding was pending, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled.
3—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to reinstate a lawsuit accusing NBC Universal and the former Sci-Fi Channel of stealing the idea for the television show “Ghost Hunters.”....Police responding to a report of possible animal abuse did not need a warrant to enter a Marina del Rey condominium unit after one of the officers heard the sound of a dog whimpering, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled.
7—California’s strict laws governing the secrecy of the ballot do not fully apply to a vote by property owners on whether to approve a special assessment under Proposition 218, the California Supreme Court ruled.
8—A septuagenarian inmate with a spotless prison record but a history of abusive relationships was not entitled to be released on parole, the First District Court of Appeal ruled….Incumbent Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Soussan Bruguera, Laura A. Matz and Maren E. Nelson retained their offices as a result of primary voting. Deputy District Attorney Valerie Salkin won more than 50 percent of the vote to defeat two other candidates. Two other elections for open seats proceeded to runoff elections.
10—A photograph from an Internet website must be authenticated by the testimony of a person who was present when it was taken or an expert who can establish that it wasn’t altered, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled.
11—A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that the estate of Bing Crosby’s first wife may have a community property interest in Crosby’s right of publicity under a 2008 law retroactively making such interests transferable. The judge agreed with the Dixie Lee Crosby estate that the interest should be considered newly-discovered property for probate purposes, but ruled that Crosby’s an second wife, Kathryn Grant Crosby, may have am interest in the property.
12—Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld took senior status.
14—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Gutman died at 78….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated two felony charges against prominent Los Angeles attorney Pierce O’Donnell, accused of using relatives and employees as conduits for illegal donations to the first presidential campaign of then-Sen. John Edwards.
17—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a man who won an excessive force lawsuit against the City of San Diego after he was thrown to the ground by a police officer while handcuffed following a brawl outside a bar could collect only $1 in damages….A homeowner accused of negligently failing to supervise her adult son, thus enabling him to repeatedly molest a child at her home, might be entitled to coverage under her insurance policy, the California Supreme Court ruled.
20—Orange County attorney Brian J. Colombana was placed on involuntary inactive enrollment for alleged loan modification misconduct.
21—A San Francisco Superior Court judge properly excluded evidence of an alleged rape victim’s consensual sexual encounter hours prior to the alleged crime, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled….Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail advertisements from multiple domain names for the purpose of bypassing spam filters does not violate California’s anti-spam law, the high court ruled….The U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Orange Superior Court Judge Josephine S. Tucker as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
22—Los Angeles Superior Court Executive Officer/Clerk John A. Clarke told staff members that the court would delay indefinitely 500 layoffs that had been scheduled for September….The First District Court of Appeal ordered publication of its ruling throwing out a lawsuit by a Daly City woman who claimed the forensic pathologist who conducted an autopsy on her 23-year-old son for the San Mateo County coroner retained her son’s heart for his “self serving interest.”
23—The California Supreme Court declined to review a Court of Appeal ruling that an individual lawyer’s acquisition of confidential information from a client, prior to changing firms, will not automatically preclude the new firm from representing a party adverse to the former client.
25—An attorney’s gross negligence constitutes an “extraordinary circumstance” warranting relief from a judgment dismissing the case for failure to prosecute, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled….The California Judicial Council voted not to support a controversial proposal that would ban judicial candidates from seeking endorsements from partisan groups.
28—The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence of David Earl Williams, who was convicted of the 1989 torture-murder of 42-year-old Joanne Lacey of Altadena….Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Ralph Olson retired.
29—The Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that a 2007 advertisement in Rolling Stone Magazine depicting flying radios with helicopter rotors, jet-propelled tractors and televisions growing from the ground on plant stalks violated a settlement barring the use of cartoons in cigarette advertising.
30—A contract public defender who relied on his own investigation of his client’s illegal search claim because the county’s investigator had too much other work provided ineffective assistance, the First District Court of Appeal ruled….Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed 11 judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court, including Superior Court Commissioner Michael J. Convey; Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine C. Ewell; Los Angeles attorneys Dianna J. Gould-Saltman, Brian M. Hoffstadt, Marc R. Marmaro and Chestopher L. “Chet” Taylor; Los Angeles County Deputy Alternate Public Defenders James E. Horan, Upinder S. Kalra and Yvette Verastegui; Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Timothy R. Saito; and Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Carlos E. Vazquez.
1—Steinbrecher & Span attorney Alan K. Steinbrecher became president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association….The use of a deportee’s preliminary hearing testimony at the trial of an alleged murderer did not violate the defendant’s right to face his accuser, the state Supreme Court ruled….Public employers that believe a threatened employee strike will endanger the public welfare must generally first go to the California Public Employment Relations Board before asking a court for injunctive relief, the high court ruled….Two-time Los Angeles Superior Court judicial candidate Robert R. Davenport was killed when his small plane crashed at a golf course in Venice.
2—The Department of Personnel Administration has the authority to direct the controller to cut the pay of state workers to the federal minimum wage during a budget impasse, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled.
6—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday declined to toss a lawsuit against a Los Angeles attorney embroiled in a family feud over ownership of trademarks for the Sonya Dakar line of skin-care products….A police officer who fired 11 shots at a stolen minivan, killing the driver, after the vehicle appeared to hit another officer as the two approached it on foot at the end of a chase, acted with reasonable force as a matter of law, the Ninth Circuit ruled.
7—The county recorder has no duty to examine a document for signs of fraud, as long as it is notarized and in proper form according to statute, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled.
8—The California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Gregory Tate for the stabbing murder of Sarah LaChapelle in East Oakland in 1988….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a district court’s order barring a Southern California couple from using the term “Lexus” in any Internet domain name to describe their business of brokering the automobiles.
9—Former Los Angeles County Bar Association President Gretchen M. Nelson and Los Angeles Deputy Public Defender Luis J. Rodriguez were elected to three-year terms on the State Bar’s Board of Governors.
12—The California Supreme Court said that a contract proposal by Matthew Bender & Company, a member of the LexisNexis Group, for publication of official state reports had been accepted by contracting officials for the State of California and approved by the Supreme Court….A defendant in an antitrust case generally cannot plead as an affirmative defense that the plaintiff has passed on all of the alleged overcharges to its customers and thus suffered no losses, the California Supreme Court ruled….This district’s Court of Appeal certified for publication its ruling that a state law enacted to protect elderly Californians from financial abuse did not subject a bank to liability for negligently processing transactions for a septuagenarian customer who was being defrauded by a third party without the bank’s knowledge.
13—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals suspended Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack founder Walter Lack and firm member Paul Traina from practice before the court for six months for their role in a frivolous appeal, and reprimanded Girardi | Keese head Thomas Girardi.
14—Sherman Oaks attorney Sean Erenstoft entered a plea of no contest to dissuading a witness after he filed a civil case against the alleged victim while representing a defendant charged with stalking, then offered to drop it in exchange for favorable testimony….This district’s Court of Appeal ordered publication of its ruling rejecting a white police officer’s claim that he was harassed and denied a performance bonus because he objected to the way African Americans were treated within his department….California Chief Justice Ronald M. George said he would leave office in January after 38 years of judicial service.
15—An arbitrator who failed to disclose that he was the boyfriend of a party’s sister could not be held personally liable, the First District Court of Appeal ruled….The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the death sentence for Andre Alexander, convicted of the 1980 murder of Julie Cross, the first female Secret Service agent to die in the line of duty.
16—A foster care agency was not liable for the death of a child who drowned after being left unattended in a bathtub by her foster mother, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled….A trial court erred in removing plaintiffs’ expert witness in a medical malpractice trial on the basis that defense counsel’s representation of the doctor 10 years earlier created an irreconcilable conflict of interest, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled.
19—The Administrative Office of the Courts announced that it had launched the California Courts Protective Order Registry to provide judges and law enforcement officers with complete and accessible information on restraining and protective orders throughout the state….This district’s Court of Appeal upheld a verdict of more than $22.4 million in favor of the City of Compton against a former contractor who bribed city officials to obtain an exclusive franchise while also running the city’s in-house waste division.
20—School officials who use their supervisory authority to interfere with a teacher’s right to disclose improper government activities are not automatically shielded from liability by being in management, the Third District Court of Appeal held.
21—The San Fernando Valley Bar Association said it would create a new youth program after trustees voted to terminate the association’s sponsorship of a program run by an Oklahoma-based subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America.….Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated Third District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to become the 28th chief justice of California….An Orange Superior Court Appellate Department ruling that the use of photographs and a police officer’s declaration to prove that a motorist ran a red light violated the Evidence Code and the driver’s constitutional right to confront his accuser became final.
22—A criminal defendant may seek to discover relevant evidence in a police officer’s personnel file prior to a preliminary hearing, but the magistrate need not invariably delay the hearing for that purpose, the California Supreme Court ruled….The Third District Court of Appeal closed a loophole that allowed commercially licensed drivers to temporarily surrender their licenses in order to get around federal law barring them from attending traffic school in lieu of entry of judgment on a traffic violation.
26—A public entity may retain private counsel to prosecute a public nuisance abatement action under a contingent fee agreement, the California Supreme Court ruled….This district’s Court of Appeal rejected an attempt to hold the state liable for property damaged in the 2007 Corral Canyon fire in Malibu.
28—The California Supreme Court declined to review a lower court’s ruling that the state parole board’s error in denying the compassionate release request by a paralyzed rapist was not a sufficient reason to order his release.
29—Courts that determine that a parole decision was not supported by “some evidence” should send the matter back to the board for a new hearing, the California Supreme Court ruled.
30—The Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected an argument that sealing orders issued by a family law court are binding and unalterable by a successor trial judge….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated part of a lawsuit by a group of passengers who were forced by Alaska Airlines to disembark from a flight before their voyage was completed….Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Nicholas Taubert retired.
3—The California Supreme Court turned down a challenge to the public contracting provisions of Proposition 209, the state constitutional restriction on race- and gender-based affirmative action programs enacted in 1996….The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the death sentence for Nathan Verdugo, who was convicted of the 1994 shotgun slayings of 18-year-old college students Richard Rodriguez and Yolanda Navarro near a firehouse in Highland Park….A retired Los Angeles Superior Court judge had no duty to disclose his censure for making offensive comments about women based on their physical attributes before arbitrating a medical malpractice claim centering on a woman’s appearance, the state Supreme Court ruled….Judges who retire under both the Judicial Retirement System and the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System are not entitled to have their city benefits calculated using their highest salary earned under either one, this district’s Court of Appeal held.
4—A 25-year-to-life sentence for a third-strike offender convicted of failing to update his sex offender registration within five days of his birthday did not necessarily violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled….The crimes of transporting or possessing more than 28.5 grams of marijuana don’t require knowledge that such quantity was involved, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled.
5—The Court of Appeal for this district ordered publication of its ruling allowing the City of Los Angeles to recognize a newly formed “megalocal” of the Service Employees International Union as the bargaining representative for employees previously represented by a local that was merged into the new entity by the parent union….The California Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeal that a former Google Inc. executive who was terminated at the age of 54 produced enough evidence to go to trial on his age discrimination claim….An attorney whose lack of supervision resulted in his paralegal’s taking a file on a pending summary judgment motion with her on an Alaskan cruise, then trying to serve the opposing papers electronically from a Canadian magistrate’s office, was not entitled to relief from the ensuing judgment, the Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled.
6—The Commission on Judicial Appointments approved Madera Superior Court Judge Jennifer R.S. Detjen’s nomination as a justice of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.
9—State law prohibiting employers from taking tips patrons leave for employees does not contain a private right to sue, the California Supreme Court ruled….The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence of Roger Hoan Brady in the 1993 murder of Manhattan Beach Police Department Officer Martin Ganz….Starr Babcock became the State Bar of California’s general counsel.
10—Litigants can collect reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, for proving a matter at trial after a party unreasonably denies a request for admission, but only from the denying party, not counsel, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
11—A plaintiff in a predatory pricing case need not prove that the defendant will be able to recoup losses once below-cost pricing ends, the First District Court of Appeal ruled….The Third District Court of Appeal revived a Christian youth pastor’s suit against a Placer County shopping mall that had him arrested when he declined to stop talking about his faith with three young women. The court said that mall rules prohibiting peaceful, consensual, spontaneous conversations between strangers about subjects not related to the mall were unconstitutional.
12—The California Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of Martin Carl Jennings, who was convicted of first degree murder in the 1996 killing his 5-year-old son. Jennings claimed the boy died as a result of being fed powerful sedatives by his mother, but the court said he died as a result of an ongoing series of beatings and deprivations for which his father was at least as responsible….The Federal Arbitration Act does not require California courts to enforce arbitration agreements that waive class-wide remedies for consumers, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled….Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elvira S. Austin died at 72….A Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved a $1.1 million stipulated judgment in favor of Attorney General Jerry Brown against former Los Angeles Superior Court candidate Mitchell Roth, who agreed not to defend a suit charging him with defrauding 2,000 homeowners who hired him to protect their homes from foreclosure.
13—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a challenge to Arizona’s restrictions on the political speech and campaign-related activities of judicial candidates.
17—A federal act making it a crime to falsely claim that one holds the Congressional Medal of Honor violated the First Amendment, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
18—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that granted employees of the judicial branch whistleblower protections similar to those enjoyed by other state employees.
19—The Court of Appeal for this district vacated as an unconstitutional prior restraint Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hilleri G. Merritt’s order barring the Los Angeles Times from publishing photos taken in court with permission. After initially saying a Times photographer could take photos during an arraignment and preliminary hearing-setting, Merritt barred further photographing and ordered that shots already taken not be published upon learning that another judicial officer had previously decided against extended coverage.
20—Steven Edward Crittenden, who was convicted of killing physician William Chiapella and his wife, Katherine, in their Chico home more than 23 years ago, was entitled to a new hearing on his claim that prosecutors struck a black woman from the jury venire because of her race, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
23—Patients who sign agreements to arbitrate medical malpractice claims can bind their heirs in wrongful death actions, the California Supreme Court held, so long as the language of the agreement manifests an intent to do so.
25—An organization led by anti-affirmative action activist—and former University of California regent—Ward Connerly said it had dismissed a lawsuit charging the Los Angeles Unified School District with illegally assigning teachers to schools on the basis of race….The Commission on Judicial Appointments approved Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nomination of Third District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to be the next chief justice of California. The commission also confirmed Fifth District Court of Appeal Justice Brad R. Hill as the court’s presiding justice, Riverside Superior Court Judge Carol D. Codrington to join the Fourth District’s Div. Two and Sacramento Superior Court Judge Louis R. Mauro to join the Third District….An accounting firm hired by a restaurateur to prepare its employees’ W-2 forms could not be held responsible for allegedly overstating employees’ tip income and causing them to incur liability for taxes on money they never received, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled.
26—A federal judge ruled that the Port of Los Angeles can regulate trucks that haul goods in and out of its property to reduce air pollution around the country’s busiest port complex.
27—This district’s Court of Appeal threw out a $39,000 judgment against the County of Los Angeles a trial judge awarded due to the Sheriff’s Department’s delay in serving a writ of execution on entities that paid funds to Bay Area rap artist and judgment debtor Too $hort.
29—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard B. Wolfe died at 71.
30—The California Supreme Court rejected Attorney General Jerry Brown’s effort to speed up the death penalty review process by throwing out the petitions of Death Row inmates whose sentences have been affirmed but who do not have habeas corpus counsel. In a pair of companion cases, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its previously informal practice of allowing inmates to file cursory or “shell” petitions in order to satisfy timeliness requirements, then allowing subsequently appointed counsel time to file amended petitions….U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer of the Central District of California erred when she declined a criminal defendant’s request to continue trial for two days so he could see his dying son, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
31—An arbitration award requiring real estate developer to pay more than $7.5 million in fees to a Northern California law firm that represented it in complex environmental litigation was neither unconscionable nor against public policy, the First District Court of Appeal ruled.
2—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the littering conviction of a man who left gallon-sized plastic bottles of water in the southern Arizona desert for undocumented migrants crossing into the United States….The court reinstated a portion of a lawsuit seeking to hold the federal government responsible for the conduct of an asylum officer who asked two Chinese aliens for sex and money in exchange for a favorable resolution of their cases.
3—A Nevada man’s concession that most reasonable men would have “welcomed” the sexual advances of his female coworker did not support a conclusion that he wasn’t sexually harassed, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
7—A fired sales executive who had to walk with a cane and suffered from a speech impairment after a stroke was disabled within the meaning of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled.
8—Los Angeles Superior Court Assistant Presiding Judge Lee S. Edmon and Judge David S. Wesley were elected as the court’s presiding and assistant presiding judges, respectively, for 2011 and 2012….A City of Los Angeles ordinance requiring hotels near Los Angeles International Airport to pass along service charges to employees was not preempted by state law, and was constitutional, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled….Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregg Marcus retired.
9—The First District Court of Appeal upheld a trial court’s order prohibiting a defendant convicted of drug offenses from reentering the United States illegally if he was deported….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a Manhattan Beach attorney acting as private counsel for the City of Rialto was not shielded from liability arising from the unconstitutional search of a firefighter’s home as part of an internal affairs investigation….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the City of Hermosa Beach’s ban on tattoo parlors, ruling that tattooing is purely expressive activity fully protected by the First Amendment.
13—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to decide en banc whether Orange County Sheriff’s Department officers violated a Muslim woman’s constitutional rights when they made her remove her headscarf while she was being held in a courthouse holding facility….The Justice Department sued the City of Walnut, claiming officials violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 by refusing to grant a permit for the construction of a Buddhist Center…. President Obama renominated UC Berkeley School of Law professor and associate dean Goodwin Liu to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after the nomination died when the Senate failed to act on it during its session….Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eudon Ferrell retired.
15—A Mission Viejo lawyer who subpoenaed the mental health records of his client’s insured in the context of a contractual arbitration of an uninsured motorist claim engaged in protected conduct for purposes of a special motion to strike, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled.
16—The Court of Appeal upheld the imposition of an order enjoining Beverly Hills sole practitioner Martin B. Reiner from harassing Los Angeles attorney Susan Kaplan, who was his opposing counsel on a workers’ compensation matter last year.
17—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a challenge to the Los Angeles Community College District’s sexual harassment policy by a student who said his professor interrupted his speech against same-sex marriage during a public speaking class and called him a “fascist bastard.”
20—The State Bar of California said it selected former state Sen. Joseph L. Dunn as its new executive director….Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe ordered the release of disbarred Beverly Hills attorney Richard Fine, saying that further incarceration would serve no useful purpose because the septuagenarian appeared to have lost the ability to think rationally. Fine was confined to the Los Angeles County Jail in March 2009 for contempt of court for refusing to answer questions at a judgment debtor exam.
21—A prison inmate who became the subject of a commitment proceeding in a Sexually Violent Predator Act proceeding was not entitled to a hearing on the denial of his request to represent himself on appeal, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled.
22—Orange County attorney Brian Colombana admitted extensive misconduct in foreclosure cases that would lead to his disbarment, the State Bar of California said….The Alameda Superior Court Appellate Division threw out a minister’s convictions for harassing patrons of an Oakland abortion clinic, citing instructional error….A rental car company has no duty to conduct an electronic records check to determine whether a customer has a history of drunk or drugged driving, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled.
23—The State Bar of California said that Orange County attorney Mark Alan Shoemaker agreed to disbarment for loan modification misconduct….The Association of Deputy District Attorneys said that its members ratified an agreement with the County of Los Angeles on a labor contract. The contract was the first of its kind between the group, which has bargained for prosecutors since March 2008, and the county….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived former San Diego County toxicologist Kristin Rossum’s appeal of her murder conviction for poisoning her husband with the powerful drug fentanyl in 2000. The panel said Rossum’s trial counsel should have conducted a test that would have shown whether autopsy samples were contaminated.
24—A parent may consent to a warrantless police search of his or her child’s bedroom, even if the minor is present and objects, the First District Court of Appeal ruled….This district’s Court of Appeal upheld the removal of two sons from their father’s custody after their 18-month-old sister was killed in a vehicle collision when her father failed to secure her in a car seat while rushing her to the hospital seeking care for her injured arm.
25—Bill Hebert, a partner at Calvo and Clark in San Francisco, was sworn in as the 2010-2011 president of the State Bar of California at the group’s annual meeting in Monterey.
26—San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Keith D. Davis became president of the California Judges Association.
27—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an order requiring the Chinese Daily News, one of the nation’s largest Chinese-language newspapers, to pay employees $5.2 million for violations of federal and state pay and break requirements….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a class action alleging the AMC theatre chain violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act by listing credit and debit card information on consumers’ receipts.
28—The long-running legal fight over whether former Playmate Anna Nicole Smith should have gotten part of the fortune left behind by her elderly Texas billionaire husband went back to the U.S. Supreme Court….Prosecutors failed to prove that the killing of Veronica Linasero—a woman identified as a prostitute and found dead in front of an Eagle Rock church—was premeditated, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled. Div. One reduced Richard J. Bojorques’ conviction to second degree murder and his prison sentence to 15 years to life.
29—The California Supreme Court agreed to decide the constitutionality of two state laws that largely prohibit courts from enjoining union picketing during a labor dispute….The Fourth District Court of Appeal reaffirmed its ruling that an order requiring a defendant to register as a sex offender subject to Jessica’s Law’s restriction on residency within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children gather must be based on facts found by a jury.
30—Psychiatric and other confidential records of priests whose molestation of children resulted in lawsuits against their order may be released in the public interest, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled….The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council sanctioned Beverly Hills attorney Cyrus Sanai for filing frivolous complaints against 19 federal judges. Sanai is best known as the lawyer whose discovery of sexually explicit material on Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s personal website led to the judge’s admonishment….Third District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Arthur G. Scotland retired.
4—The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the legitimacy of the governor’s 2009 two-day-a-month furlough program for more than 200,000 state employees and Schwarzenegger’s vetoes on spending for various social service programs.
7—The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed a jury’s $12 million damage award to two plumbers who said Southern California Gas Company’s failure to warn about the possibility of fading by an artificial odor added to natural gas to identify it led to an explosion that seriously injured them….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Washington law banning imprisoned felons from voting.
12—The Fourth District Court of Appeal threw out an order requiring two convicted music pirates to pay more than $14,600 in restitution to the Recording Industry Association of America….U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ordered the U.S. government to immediately cease enforcement of its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay persons from serving in the military….Los Angeles attorney Ricardo A. Torres II—whose family is well known in legal and political circles, and who abandoned his law practice and left the country earlier this year—tendered his resignation from the State Bar in the face of disciplinary charges.
14—This district’s Court of Appeal affirmed the revocation of former world welterweight champion Antonio Margarito’s boxing license over his use of a plaster-like substance to wrap his hands for a fight in January of last year at Staples Center in Los Angeles against Shane Mosley….This district’s Court of Appeal upheld a nearly $760,000 award to an Indonesian domestic worker who claimed that a La Canada couple kept her as a virtual prisoner in their home, telling her that she would be raped and her organs harvested if she tried to leave.
17—Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Ralph A. Amado died at 68.
18—Los Angeles attorney Eduardo Brito Leaton was sentenced to six years in prison following his arrest in an Internet child sex sting.
19—A former NFL player whose two arson trials ended in deadlocked juries could not sue the police officer who arrested him after his gasoline-soaked mail was found in firebombs that destroyed a Santa Monica furniture store, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
20—The California Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the “continuing violations” doctrine or a variant of that rule can be applied to extend the time to sue for violation of the Unfair Competition Law.
21—The Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John T. Doyle for driving with an excessive blood alcohol level….The state Supreme Court upheld Vacaville man Robert Bacon’s death sentence for raping 40-year-old Deborah Sammons in 1995 and murdering her at her estranged husband’s request.
22—The judge hearing election bribery charges against Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Harvey Silberman and campaign consultants Evelyn Jerome Alexander and Randy Steinberg declined to dismiss the case, suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a pair of search warrants or grant the defendants separate trials. Orange Superior Court Judge Richard King, hearing the case by assignment after the local trial bench recused itself, set trial for Jan. 11.
25—The statutory priority given criminal cases does not require that juvenile, family, and probate departments be given over to criminal trials when no other department is available, the California Supreme Court ruled….The Third District Court of Appeal threw out a lawsuit by so-called “birthers” who claim that President Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen and is ineligible to hold office. The panel ruled that California law does not impose a duty on the secretary of state or Electoral College members to verify a presidential candidate’s eligibility.
26—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out part of an Arizona law requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote, but left standing a requirement that registered voters present proof of identification to cast a ballot.
27—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a “cybersquatting” verdict against a man who set up the domain name for his employer’s website and then held it for ransom in a dispute over pay….The California Supreme Court agreed to resolve a split it the Court of Appeal on whether a defendant convicted of criminal street gang participation can receive consecutive sentences for that offense and for the underlying crime….Los Angeles Superior Court Public Information Officer Alan Parachini was ousted from his post over what he said were false accusations that he leaked information to celebrity-watching website TMZ.com.
28—This district’s Court of Appeal published its decision that employers must provide employees with breaks, but need not ensure that employees take them….A federal judge canceled the execution of Albert G. Brown Jr., which would have been California’s first execution in more than four years, following state officials’ announcement that the state’s supply of the drug used in executions would expire at the end of the week.
1—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe retired.
2—This district’s Court of Appeal upheld the release of a former Long Beach teenager who spent 16 years in prison for the 1992 execution-style slaying of a high school classmate in what became known as the “Ace of Spades” case….Voters elected Third District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to succeed Chief Justice Ronald M. George in January. Los Angeles Superior Court Referee Randy Hammock and Deputy District Attorney Alan Schneider won runoff elections for seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court, respectively besting Beverly Hills civil attorney Mark Ameli and Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney Tom Griego. Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue fended off a write-in challenge. San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris—in an election that would not be called for nearly a month as returns trickled in—defeated Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley in the race to be the next Attorney General.
3—Former Ukraine Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko, who was convicted in the United States on charges of money laundering and conspiracy while in office, does not have to pay $19 million in restitution to a co-conspirator, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
5—The inability of parties and counsel to travel from the criminal calendar court in Riverside to an available courtroom 76 miles away before it closed for the day, on the last statutory day, did not constitute good cause for a continuance of a felony trial, the California Supreme Court ruled.
8—The state Supreme Court clarified that a litigant’s personal incentive for pursuing a public interest action will not necessarily foreclose that party from recovering attorney fees.
10—A mother whose sons were molested by two priests in the Diocese of Sacramento was on notice of possible wrongdoing once she learned the men fled the country, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled….San Diego Superior Court Judge DeAnn M. Salcido, a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney, agreed to step down and accept public censure by the Commission on Judicial Performance. Salcido admitted allowing her court proceedings to be filmed for a reality television show audition.
12—The 99¢ Only Stores’ failure to provide its cashiers with seats exposed it to liability for civil penalties, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
15—The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld a state law that gives in-state college tuition to students who attended California high schools but lack legal immigration status.
16—A plumber who developed cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos cannot be denied recovery from the manufacturer on the ground that the company that purchased the product knew of the dangers, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled, upholding a $7 million judgment.
17—The Fourth District Court of Appeal ordered a new hearing for convicted murderer Richard Shaputis, whose bid for parole following his conviction for second degree murder in the 1987 shooting of his wife has been the subject of four appellate opinions on the standard for release.….President Obama nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John A. Kronstadt to succeed the late U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the Central District of California.
18—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jerry E. Johnson spent his last day on the bench, and was scheduled to retire March 3….The California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Richard Don Foster’s death sentence for the 1991 stabbing death of Apple Valley church worker Gail Johnson….State law requiring immediate payment of final wages to departing employees does not allow employers who pay the wages late to cut short the employee’s time to sue for penalties, the California Supreme Court ruled….Civil courts must stay out of an internecine dispute within a church if the resolution of the issue requires interpretation of religious doctrine, the Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled.
19—The State Bar said the pass rate for the July 2010 general examination was 54.8 percent, down nearly two percentage points from last year….The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Oakland can force new police officers who quit to repay training costs.
22—The Court of Appeal for this district rejected a religious organization’s bid to demolish the historic Teriton Apartments in Santa Monica. Div. Three said an exemption from historic preservation standards for religious groups did not apply to the 60-year-old complex, which has always been a commercial enterprise.
23—A Los Angeles Superior Court judge engaged in “judicial overkill” by dismissing charges that five defendants stole more than $1 million in Medi-Cal funds on the grounds that state agents eavesdropped on attorney-client conversations, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled.
24—This district’s Court of Appeal threw out a credit cardholder’s suit arguing that American Express should have warned him that the man he sought to add to his account as an additional cardmember was a poor credit risk….The Court of Appeal for this district affirmed the second conviction of Eleazar De Santiago, one of two men tried for the 1997 Carson murder of Charlie Yim. Santiago’s first conviction was reversed seven years ago.
28—A lawsuit claiming the California Travel and Tourism Commission improperly colluded with rental car companies to pass tourism fees on to customers can go forward, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
29—A police officer’s discovery of marijuana in a clothes dryer when he opened the door to quiet the machine during a probation check did not result from an unreasonable search, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
30—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review en banc a ruling that a police officer who tasered an unarmed 21-year-old man clad only in his underwear during a traffic stop for a seatbelt infraction was entitled to qualified immunity….Third District Court of Appeal Justice Richard Sims III retired.
1—The California Supreme Court denied review of former San Francisco lawyer Marjorie Knoller’s murder conviction after Knoller’s 140-pound dog mauled a neighbor….A young woman who charged admission to a house party where alcohol was available was not liable for the death of a partygoer struck by a vehicle driven by an intoxicated minor guest, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
2—The California Supreme Court said Hollister lawyer Patrick Earl Marshall, who had sex with two incarcerated clients while a contract public defender, would be disbarred Jan. 1.
3—Joe Cerrell, one of Los Angeles’ and the nation’s preeminent political consultants and a pioneer in the adaptation of traditional campaign techniques to judicial contests, died at 75.
6—Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said that he would run to become district attorney in 2012 if District Attorney Steve Cooley does not do so….Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named as judges on the Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioners Michele E. Flurer and Lia R. Martin; Deputy Public Defender Akemi D. Arakaki; Deputy District Attorneys John J. Lonergan Jr. and Shelly Baron Torrealba; Deputy Alternate Public Defender Victor D. Martinez; and private practitioners Russell S. Kussman, Yolanda Orozco, Salvatore T. Sirna, Robert E. Willett and David V. Herriford.
7—A litigant who produces foreign documents in a civil case in the United States risks having them subpoenaed for use in a criminal case, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled….The Court of Appeal for this district affirmed the convictions and life-without-parole sentences of Christian Vega and Steven Cuellar for the 2006 murder of Simon Khalil, a co-owner of the Maple Market in Los Angeles.
8—A lawyer who drafted a will had no duty to a prospective beneficiary until the will was actually executed, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled.
9—The State of California and the American Civil Liberties Union announced a settlement in a suit alleging that local school districts illegally charged fees for educational activities and materials in violation of the right to a free and equal public education.
10—The Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously confirmed Third District Court of Appeal Justice Vance W. Raye and Fifth District Justice Brad R. Hill as presiding justices of their courts. It also approved the nominations of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary, Andrea L. Hoch, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Elena J. Duarte and San Joaquin Superior Court Presiding Judge William J. Murray Jr. to the Third District, and the nomination of Fresno Superior Court Donald R. Franson Jr. to the Fifth District. The vote allowed Hill, who voters approved to succeed retiring Presiding Justice James Ardaiz, to take the post one week early….A divided Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel reversed its decision that federal law preempts a state statute extending the limitations period for claims under life insurance policies issued to victims of the Armenian Genocide.
13—A penalty on corporations that understate state income tax liability by more than $1 million per year is not itself a tax, and not subject to a ban on raising taxes without two-thirds approval of the Legislature, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled.
14—The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an order barring distribution of a computer program that automatically plays early levels of popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft so that players can avoid having to do so….The Commission on Judicial Performance publicly admonished Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Melissa N. Widdifield for a Nov. 18, 2009 incident in which she allegedly drove drunk….The Fourth District Court of Appeal ordered publication of its ruling that a company that fired about 200 workers after they failed to produce valid social security numbers following an IRS audit could sue a group of workers and a civil rights activist who claimed the firings were based on race and age.
15—The California Supreme Court declined to review an order that gave new life to a pair of actions charging Katten Muchin Rosenman with helping a client cheat the estate of his former business partner, former Los Angeles Times photographer Rick Corrales.
16—The Los Angeles Superior Court defended itself from criticism following the Los Angeles Police Commission’s decision to adopt Police Chief Charlie Beck’s recommendation that an automated red light camera program be continued, even though it operates at a loss….A juvenile facing severe residence restrictions under Jessica’s Law is entitled to a jury trial on the underlying sex offense, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled….Assistant Los Angeles County Public Defender Ronald L. Brown was nominated to succeed retired Public Defender Mike Judge.
21—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order naming the San Francisco Civic Center Complex the “Ronald M. George State Office Complex”….The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a San Diego County public high school’s policy of searching any minor that leaves and returns to campus during the school day.
22—The U.S. Senate confirmed President Obama’s nomination of U.S. District Judge Mary H. Murguia of Arizona to serve as a judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu’s nomination was again returned to the president.
27—The Third District Court of Appeal ruled that a Siskyou County woman could withdraw her plea to marijuana possession after prosecutors erroneously promised she could seek return of her marijuana.
28—The California Supreme Court denied Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s request to let him complete the sale and leaseback of two dozen state office properties, including those housing the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in San Francisco and Los Angeles, before he leaves office. The action by temporary justices—designated after the court’s regular members recused themselves—followed a ruling by the Sixth District Court of Appeal blocking the sale until it hears arguments on a taxpayer suit challenging the sale’s legality….The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a measure enacted at a special session of the Legislature to continue county payments of benefits to local trial judges, over and above their state salaries.
29—A defendant ordered into a criminal diversion program cannot be terminated on the basis of inability to pay program costs, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled….The Fifth District Court of Appeal upheld the imposition of a half-million dollar real estate tax delinquency penalty against a company that accidentally mailed its payment to the wrong place.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company