Saturday, April 29, 2006

Last Updated March 3, 2007

This website lists and describes all currently pending civil cases in which the California Supreme Court has granted review, excluding those on grant and hold. The list is updated regularly by California appeals attorney Martin N. Buchanan, a partner at Niddrie, Fish & Buchanan in San Diego, California. The case descriptions come from the weekly News Release issued by the Public Information Office of the Administrative Office of the Courts. As stated in the News Release, the statement of issues does not necessarily reflect the view of the court, or define the specific issues that will be addressed by the court.


Club Members for an Honest Election v. Sierra Club, No. S143087
Can the exception to the anti-SLAPP statute (Code Civ. Proc., § 425.16) for actions "brought solely in the public interest or on behalf of the general public" (Code Civ. Proc., § 425.17, subd. (b)) apply to a complaint that includes any claim for personal relief?


Alan v. American Honda Motor Co., No. S137238
Did the Statement of Decision and Minute Order dated January 2, 2003 [denying class certification], trigger the 60-day period within which to notice an appeal under California Rules of Court, rule 2(a)(1)?

Oakland Raiders v. National Football League, No. S132814
If the trial court fails to specify its reasons for granting a new trial (see Code Civ. Proc., section 657), is the trial court's order granting a new trial reviewed on appeal under the abuse of discretion standard or is the order subject to independent review? Supplemental briefing requested on: (1) Should the court reconsider Mercer v. Perez (1968) 68 Cal.2d 104, to the extent that it bars an appellate court from remanding a case to a trial court to enable the trial court to file a statement of reasons in support of its order granting a new trial? (2) Should the court reconsider Treber v. Superior Court (1968) 68 Cal.2d 128, to the extent that it bars an appellate court from issuing a writ of mandate to compel a trial court to file a statement of reasons in support of its order granting a new trial?

Silverbrand v. County of Los Angeles, No. S143929
Does the "prison delivery" rule apply to the filing of a notice of appeal in a civil case, and thus make timely a notice of appeal deposited in the prison legal mail system before the expiration of the jurisdictional deadline but not received by the trial court until after that deadline has passed?


Berglund v. Arthroscopic & Laser Surgery Center of San Diego, No. S144813
(1) When an arbitrator issues a discovery order to a third party who is not bound by the arbitration agreement, may that third party seek judicial review of its objections to discovery? (2) If so, what is the scope of judicial review of such an order?

Cable Connection, Inc. v. DIRECTV, Inc., No. S147767. May the parties to a commercial arbitration agreement contractually expand the jurisdiction of the trial court to permit review of an arbitration award for legal error?

Federici v. Gursey Schneider & Co., S147905. Was an arbitration agreement between an accounting firm and its client unconscionable and unenforceable when it required arbitration of any fee dispute, required that any malpractice claims be asserted in such arbitration as a potential offset of fees owed, provided that the client could not file a court action for malpractice unless all fees were offset by malpractice damages, and made the arbitration findings res judicata in any court action only if favorable to the accounting firm?

Gueyffier v. Ann Summers, Ltd., No. S148568. Was an arbitration provision in a franchise agreement that prohibited the arbitrator from modifying any material terms of the agreement an absolute limitation, or did it permit application of equitable or legal defenses, such as excusing the franchisee’s failure to give the franchisor the required notice of a breach of the agreement and an opportunity to cure it, on the ground the breach could not have been cured and giving notice would have been an idle act?

Simmons v. Ghaderi, No. S147848. In an action to determine whether a valid oral settlement agreement was formed during mediation, was one party estopped to claim confidentiality for the mediation proceedings (Evid. Code, §§ 1115-1124) because she had voluntarily declared the facts to be true, stipulated that she did not dispute them, submitted evidence of them, and litigated their effect for more than a year?

Wagner Construction v. Pacific Mechanical Corp., No. S136255
When a party seeks to compel arbitration, can the trial court determine whether a particular claim is barred by a statute of limitations as part of determining whether the party waived the right to arbitrate under Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.2, subdivision (a), or is the application of a statute of limitations always a matter to be resolved by the arbitrator?


Adoption of Joshua S., No. S138169
Was the plaintiff in a civil action that was brought to confirm the validity of a so-called second parent adoption (see Sharon S. v. Superior Court (2003) 31 Cal.4th 417) entitled to attorney fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5 for enforcing an important right affecting the public interest, when the plaintiff had a strong and significant, but non-pecuniary, individual private interest in pursuing the litigation?

Olson v. Automobile Club of Southern California, S143999
Is a prevailing plaintiff who is awarded attorney’s fees under the private attorney general statute (Civ. Code, section 1021.5) entitled to recover expert witness fees?

Vasquez v. State of California, No. S143710
Does that rule that, in order to receive attorney fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5, the plaintiff must first reasonably attempt to settle the matter short of litigation, apply to this case? (See Graham v. DaimerChrysler Corp. (2004) 34 Cal.4th 553, 557; Grimsley v. Board of Supervisors (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 960, 966-967.)


In re Lemanual C. No. S144515
Was petitioner's civil commitment under Welfare and Institutions Code section 1800 unconstitutional because the petition did not allege, and the trial court did not specifically find, that there was "a serious and well-founded risk" that petitioner would reoffend if not committed?


Angelucci v. Century Supper Club, No. S136154
When a business establishment indicates that it charges men a higher price for admission than it charges women, must a male patron who was charged the higher rate have requested to be admitted at the lower women’s rate in order to state a cause of action for unlawful discrimination under the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Civ. Code, § 51) or the Gender Tax Repeal Act (Civ. Code, § 51.6)?

Manta Management Corp. v. City of San Bernardino, No. S144492
Can a municipality be held liable for damages under the federal Civil Rights Act (42 U.S. C. section 1983) for obtaining a preliminary injunciton to enforce an ordinance that is later found to be invalid as an unconstitutional impingement on the First Amendment right to freedom of speech?

Yount v. City of Sacramento, No. S139762
Must a defendant who entered a plea of no contest to a charge of obstructing police officers in the course of their duties (Pen. Code, section 148) and who had engaged in a continuous course of conduct involving multiple acts of obstruction, any one of which would have supported the conviction, have the conviction invalidated in order to bring a civil rights claim (42 U.S.C. section 1983) alleging the use of excessive force by the officers in the course of taking him into custody? (See Heck v. Humphrey (1994) 512 U.S. 477.)


Fireside Bank v. Superior Court (Gonzalez), No. S139171
Can a trial court ever depart from the preferred practice of deciding whether to certify a class action before adjudicating any class claims on the merits, or is the rule against such "one-way intervention" in class actions a firm prohibition applicable in all circumstances?

Gentry v. Superior Court, No. S141502
This case presents issues regarding the enforceability of an arbitration provision that prohibits employee class actions in litigation concerning alleged violations of California's wage and hour laws.


Balboa Island Village Inn v. Lemen, No. S127904
When a trial court has found that a defendant in a defamation action has made repeated untruthful defamatory statements against the plaintiff and that pecuniary compensation would not afford adequate relief in the event of repeated statements in the future, may the trial court issue an injunction prohibiting defendant from continuing to make the same defamatory statements to third parties or does such an injunction constitute an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech? (See Aguilar v. Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. (1999) 21 Cal.4th 121.)

California Statewide Communities Development v. All Persons Interested, No. S124195
Can tax-exempt bond financing be provided to sectarian schools that discriminate on religious grounds in admission and require instruction in a particular faith so long as the financed facilities will not be used for any sectarian purpose, or is the provision of such financing to such entities nonetheless barred by article XVI, section 5, of the California Constitution or the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution? Supplemental briefing requested on the following issue: Would excluding a school from entitlement to bond funding based on its inclusion of a religious viewpoint in its teaching of secular subjects violate the First Amendment's free speech guarantee? (See Good News Club v. Milford Central School (2001) 533 U.S. 98; Locke v. Davey (2004) 540 U.S. 712.)

Hernandez v. City of Hanford, No. S143287
Did an amendment to a commercial zoning ordinance prohibiting a small store from selling furniture, while allowing large "box-stores" in the same commercial zone to sell furniture in a limited part of the store, constitute a violation of the small store retainer's equal protection rights? Did the Court of Appeal accord sufficient deference to legislative findings in ruling that the small store retailer's equal protection rights were violated?

In re Marriage Cases, No. S147999. Does California’s statutory ban on marriage between two persons of the same sex violate the California Constitution by denying equal protection of the laws on the basis of sexual orientation or sex, by infringing on the fundamental right to marry, or by denying the right to privacy and freedom of expression?

Jacob B. v. County of Shasta, No. S142496
Does the litigation privilege of Civil Code section 47, subdivision (b), bar a cause of action under the state Constitution for invasion of privacy?

North Coast Women's Care Medical Group, Inc. v. Superior Court, No. S142892
Does a physician have a constitutional right to refuse on religious grounds to perform a medical procedure for a patient because of the patient’s sexual orientation, or do the provisions of the Unruh Act (Civ. Code, § 51) preclude such discrimination in the provision of services notwithstanding the physician’s religious beliefs?


City of Stockton v. Superior Court, No. S139237
Must a claim be presented under the Government Claims Act (Gov. Code, section 810 et seq.) in order to bring an action against a public entity for breach of contract?

Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., No. S141541
Did a contract under which a subcontractor agreed "to defend any suit or action" against a developer "founded upon" any claim "growing out of the execution of the work" require the subcontractor to provide a defense to a suit against the developer even if the subcontractor was not negligent?


Grosset v. Wennas, No. S139285
(1) Does the question of standing to bring a shareholder's derivative action based on share ownership involve the "internal affairs" of a corporation and thus invoke the internal affairs doctrine, under which matters regulating the internal affairs of a corporation are governed by the law of the state of incorporation, here the state of Delaware? (2) If not, did plaintiff retain standing under California law to prosecute a shareholder's derivative action even though he lost his shares in the corporation while the action was pending or does California, like Delaware, require stock ownership throughout the litigation?


Catholic Mutual Relief Society v. Superior Court, No. S134545
Does Code of Civil Procedure section 2017 permit the discovery of information about the existence and extent of reinsurance coverage and the financial condition of a reinsurer for a defendant's insurer?

Commission on Peace Officer Standards & Training v. Superior Court, No. S134072
Is the information sought in this case, including the names and certain employment information pertaining to individual peace officers throughout the state, information obtained from confidential "personnel records" under Penal Code sections 832.7 and 832.8, and thus exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act (Gov. Code, section 6250 et seq.) pursuant to Government Code section 6254, subdivision (k)?

International Federation of Professional Engineers v. Superior Court, No. S134253
(1) Are the names and salaries of public employees who earn more than $100,000 per year exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act (Gov. Code, section 6250 et seq.) pursuant to Government Code section 6254, subdivision (c)? (2) Is salary information about individually identified peace officers within the definition of confidential "personnel records" under Penal Code sections 832.7 and 832.8, and thus exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act pursuant to section 6254, subdivision (k)?


Rico v. Mitsubishi Corp., No. S123808
Did the trial court properly disqualify plaintiffs' attorneys and plaintiffs' expert witnesses as a sanction when an attorney representing one of the plaintiffs, after inadvertently receiving a document prepared by defense counsel that included confidential work product, extensively reviewed the document with the attorneys representing other plaintiffs and with plaintiffs' expert witnesses?

Haraguchi v. Superior Court, No. S148207. (1) Was the trial court’s ruling on a motion for recusal alleging conflict of interest, because the prosecutor had written a novel allegedly based in part on the facts of this case, subject to independent review or reviewable only for an abuse of discretion? (2) Was recusal appropriate under either standard?

Hollywood v. Superior Court, No. S147954. (1) Was the trial court’s ruling on a motion for recusal alleging conflict of interest, because the prosecutor had cooperated with filmmakers planning a motion picture based on this case, subject to independent review or reviewable only for an abuse of discretion? (2) Was recusal appropriate under either standard? (3) If recusal was required, was it error not to recuse the entire district attorney’s office?


Vargas v. City of Salinas, No. S140911
What is the proper standard for determining when a city has unlawfully expended public funds on improper partisan election campaigning? (See Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206.)


Atwater Elementary School District v. Office of Administrative Hearings, No. S124188
Can a school district ever suspend or dismiss a credentialed teacher based on matters occurring more than four years before issuance of the notice of intention to impose such discipline (for example, under an equitable tolling or delayed discovery theory), or does Education Code section 44944, subdivision (a), absolutely ban reliance on such evidence? (Cf. Ed. Code, section 44242.7, subd. (a).)

Brodie v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd., No. S146979 & Welcher v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd., No. S147030. Both of these cases present the following issues: (1) Did the repeal of Labor Code section 4750 and the enactment of new apportionment statutes (Stats. 2004, ch. 34) change the law of apportionment of permanent disability indemnity as determined by this court in Fuentes v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1976) 16 Cal.3d 1? (2) If so, how is permanent disability indemnity to be apportioned between injuries?

Consulting Engineers & Land Surveyors in California, Inc. v. Professional Engineers in California Government, No. S145341. Did a collective bargaining agreement between the state and a union of state engineers, which required the state to use state engineers on public works projects before using private engineers to “ensure that [state] employees have preference over contract employees,” violate article XXII of the state Constitution, added by Proposition 35 (General Elec. (Nov. 7, 2000)), which provides that state entities “shall be allowed” to contract with private architectural and engineering firms for services on public works and that nothing in the Constitution shall be construed to “limit, restrict or prohibit” them from doing so?

Edwards v. Arthur Anderson LLP, No. S147190. (1) To what extent does Business and Professions Code section 16600 prohibit employee noncompetition agreements? (2) Does a contract provision releasing “any and all” claims encompass nonwaivable statutory protections, such as the employee indemnity protection of Labor Code section 2802?

Fashion Valley Mall, LLC v. NLRB, No. S144753
Under California law, may Fashion Valley maintain and enforce against the Union its Rule 5.6.2, which allows individuals and organizations to engage in expressive activities on its premises with a permit if they agree to abide by its rules and regulations that prohibit urging consumers to boycott any of the mall's tenants?

Gattuso v. Harte Hanks Shoppers, No. S139555
May an employer comply with its duty under Labor Code section 2802 to indemnify its employees for expenses they necessarily incur in the discharge of their duties by paying the employees increased wages or commissions instead of reimbursing them for their actual expenses?

Green v. State of California, No. S137770
In order to establish a prima facie case under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov. Code, section 12900 et seq.) for discrimination in employment based on disability, does the plaintiff bear the burden of proving that he or she is capable of performing the essential duties of the job or does the employer have the burden of proving that the plaintiff was not capable of performing those duties?

Hernandez v. Hillsides, Inc., No. S147552. May employees assert a cause of action for invasion of privacy when their employer installed a hidden surveillance camera in the office to investigate whether someone was using an office computer for improper purposes, only operated the camera after normal working hours, and did not actually capture any video of the employees who worked in the office?

Lonicki v. Sutter Health Central, No. S130839
(1) Under the provisions of the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act (Gov. Code, section 12945.2) that grant an employee the right to a leave of absence when the employee has a serious health condition that makes the employee "unable to perform the functions of the position of that employee," is an employee entitled to a leave of absence where the employee's serious health condition prevents him or her from working for a specific employer, but the employee is able to perform a similar job for a different employer? (2) Did defendant's failure to invoke the statutory procedure for contesting the medical certificate presented by plaintiff preclude it from later contesting the validity of that certificate?

Miklosky v. U.C. Regents, No. S139133
Does the requirement of the Whistleblower Protection Act (Gov. Code, §§ 8547-8547.12) that an employee of the University of California have "filed a complaint with the [designated] university officer" and that the university have "failed to reach a decision regarding that complaint within [specified] time limits" before an action for damages can be brought (§ 8547.10, subd. (c)) merely require the exhaustion of the internal remedy as a condition of bringing the action, or does it bar an action for damages if the university timely renders any decision on the complaint?

Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, No. S140308
(1) Is a claim under Labor Code section 226.7 for the required payment of "one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation" for each day that an employer fails to provide mandatory meal or rest periods to an employee (see Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, section 11010, subds. (11)(D), 12(B)) governed by the three-year statute of limitations for a claim for compensation (Code Civ. Proc., section 338) or the one-year statute of limitations for a claim for payment of a penalty (Code Civ. Proc., section 340)? (2) When an employee obtains an award on such a wage claim in administrative proceedings and the employer seeks de novo review in superior court, can the employee pursue additional wage claims not presented in the administrative proceedings?

Prachasaisoradej v. Ralphs Grocery, No. S128576
Does an employee bonus plan based on a profit figure that is reduced by a store's expenses, including the cost of workers compensation insurance and cash and inventory losses, violate (a) Business and Professions Code section 17200, (b) Labor Code sections 221, 400 through 410, or 3751, or (c) California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 11070?

Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, No. S138130
When a person who is authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes under the California Compassionate Use Act (Health & Saf. Code, section 11362.5) is discharged from employment on the basis of his or her off-duty use of marijuana, does the employee have either a claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov. Code, section 12900 et seq.) for unlawful discrimination in employment on the basis of disability or a common law tort claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy?

State Comp. Ins. Fund v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., S149257. May an employer who does not timely act on an injured worker’s medical treatment request under the utilization review process set forth in Labor Code section 4610 nevertheless obtain review of the treatment request under the more general dispute resolution procedures set forth in Labor Code section 4062?


Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch v. California Dept. of Forestry & Fire Protection, No. S143689
Did the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection properly interpret and apply the Z'berg-Nejedly Forest Practice Act of 1973 (Pub. Resources Code, section 4511 et seq.) and the Forest Practice Rules (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, section 895 et seq.) in reviewing three timber harvesting plans in Tuolumne County?

Environmental Protection Info. Center v. Dept. of Forestry & Fire Protection, No. S140547
This case presents issues relating to environmental review of the master plan for timber harvesting related to the Headwaters Forest Project.

Muzzy Ranch v. Solano County Airport Land Use Commission, No. S131484
Did the adoption of an airport land use compatibility plan for an area near an air force base constitute a "project" within the meaning of the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, section 21000, et seq.) where the plan recommended maintenance of the status quo under the county's existing general plan and prohibited any change of zoning that would allow more dwelling units than were allowed under current zoning?

Regional Council of Rural Counties v. State of California, No. S138974
(Related Case: Laub v. Schwarzenegger, No. S138975)
Did the final programmatic environmental impact report for the multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional CALFED Bay-Delta Program adequately address alternatives to diverting Bay-Delta water to southern California and the potential environmental impacts of diverting water to be purchased from as yet unidentified sources?


Lockheed Litigation Cases, No. S132167
Does Evidence Code section 801, subdivision (b), permit a trial court to review the evidence an expert relied upon in reaching his or her conclusions in order to determine whether that evidence provides a reasonable basis for the expert's opinion?


Guardianship of Ann S., No. S143723
Is Probate Code section 1516.5 constitutional if it permits the termination of parental rights without a present finding of parental unfitness?

In re Charlotte D., No. S142028
Is Probate Code section 1516.5, which permits the termination of parental rights without an express finding of parental unfitness, unconstitutional either on its face or as applied to an unwed father who has demonstrated a full commitment to his parental responsibilities?

In re Joshua S., No. S137583
Does state or federal law prohibit the payment of Aid for Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) benefits on behalf of dependent children placed in long-term foster care outside the United States?

Elkins v. Superior Court, No. S139073
Are Contra Costa County Superior Court Local Rule 12.5(b)(3) and the trial scheduling order in the present case, which limited, among other matters, the form of testimony and the presentation of evidence in this family law proceeding, consistent with constitutional principles and with statutes governing trial court procedures and the adoption of local court rules?

Tonya M. v. Superior Court, S149248. When determining at the “six-month review hearing” (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 366.21, subd. (e)) whether there is a “substantial probability” that a child under the age of three years, who had been removed from parental custody, will be returned to parental custody “within six months,” should the trial court (a) look to the six months following the date of the hearing, or (b) consider only the time remaining until the date of the previously-scheduled twelve-month review hearing, regardless of when the six-month review hearing actually is held?


City of Dinuba v. County of Tulare, No. S143326
Does Government Code section 860.2 accord a county immunity for its allegedly improper calculation of property taxes and improper distribution of tax revenue owed to local taxing entities?

Perez-Torres v. State of California, No. S137346
Does Government Code section 845.8 immunize the State of California and individual parole agents from potential liability for the mistaken arrest and detention of an individual who was not on parole but, because he was mistaken for another person, was incarcerated for 25 days for having violated parole?


Sentry Select Ins. Co. v. Fidelity & Guaranty, No. S145087
What is the appropriate test for determining whether an insured is "engaged in the business of renting or leasing motor vehicles without operators" under California Insurance Code section 11580.9(b)?


City of Hope National Medical Center v. Genentech, No. S129463
When an inventor or researcher entrusts a new idea or discovery to another under an arrangement providing for the other party to develop, patent, and commercially exploit the idea or discovery in return for royalties to be paid to the inventor or researcher, does a fiduciary relationship arise between the two parties, a breach of which may support tort, and in an appropriate case punitive, damages, or should the arrangement be treated like an ordinary contractual agreement, a breach of which supports only contract and not punitive damages?


Marathon Entertainment, Inc. v. Blasi, No. S145428. (1) Are the licensing requirements of the Talent Agencies Act (Lab. Code § 1700 et seq.) applicable to personal business managers as well as talent agents? (2) Is the doctrine of severability of contracts applicable to violations of the Act, or does any act of unlicensed procurement of entertainment employment for an actor by an unlicensed personal business manager in violation of the Act void a contract for personal management services in its entirety?


Action Apartment Association v. City of Santa Monica, No. S129448
Is a local ordinance prohibiting a landlord from maliciously taking action to terminate a tenancy "based upon facts which the landlord has no reasonable cause to believe to be true or upon a legal theory which is untenable under the facts known to the landlord" preempted by the statewide litigation privilege of Civil Code section 47, subdivision (b), because the ordinance applies to communicative acts?

Farm Raised Salmon Cases, No. S147171. Does the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.) impliedly preempt plaintiffs’ state law claims against defendants for deceptive marketing of food products by failing to disclose that farmed salmon sold in their stores contains artificial coloring?

O’Connell v. City of Stockton, No. S135160
(1) Does California state law preempt provisions of the City of Stockton Municipal Code pertaining to "Seizure and Forfeiture of Nuisance Vehicles"? (2) Do the Stockton municipal code provisions allowing the commencement of vehicle forfeiture proceedings "as soon as practicable but in any case within one year" satisfy the state and federal constitutional requirements of procedural due process? (3) Do the municipal code provisions allocating proceeds of vehicle forfeitures to the offices of the San Joaquin County District Attorney and the Stockton City Attorney violate state or federal constitutional guarantees of substantive or procedural due process?

Tobacco Cases II, No. S129522
Does the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (15 U.S.C. section 1331 et seq.) preempt claims under the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, section 17200 et seq.) for advertising that allegedly targeted minors?

Viva International v. Adidas Promotional Retailer, No. S140064
Does the doctrine of conflict preemption preclude California from prohibiting importation and trade of wildlife that have been delisted under the federal Endangered Species Act and thus are not currently regulated by federal law?

WFS Financial, Inc. v. Superior Court, No. S145304. Are the provisions of the Rees-Levering Automobile Sales Finance Act (Civ. Code, § 2981 et seq.) that require a creditor to include certain disclosures in a notice of intent to dispose of a vehicle after it has been repossessed and that condition the creditor’s right to seek a deficiency judgment on compliance with these requirements (Civ. Code, § 2983.2), preempted by the federal Home Owners’ Loan Act (12 U.S.C. § 1461 et seq.) when the creditor is a federally chartered savings institution?


City of Santa Monica v. Gonzalez, No. S145571. (1) Does appointment of a receiver for a substandard building under Health and Safety Code section 17980.7, subdivision (c), require service of an “order or notice to repair or abate” on the property owner as detailed in section 17980.6? (2) Is substantial compliance with the requirement of first serving a section 17980.6 order or notice to repair or abate sufficient to permit the appointment of a receiver? (3) Did the trial court abuse its discretion in approving the receiver’s recommendation to demolish the residence at issue in this case where the owner objected and there was ample equity in the property to pay an independent contractor to correct all code violations?

Mayer v. L&B Real Estate, No. S142211
Was plaintiffs' quiet title action barred by Revenue and Taxations Code section 3725 because it was not brought within one year of the sale of the property at a tax sale?

Metropolitan Water District v. Campus Crusade for Christ, No. S141148
This case presents issues concerning the burden of proof and the relative roles of the judge and the jury in eminent domain actions.

Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association v. Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, No. S136468
(1) In a legal action contesting validity of an assessment under Cal. Constitution article XIIID, what standard of review should apply in reviewing agency determination that properties on which assessment is to be imposed will "receive a special benefit over & above benefits conferred on public at large & the amount of any contested assessment is proportional to & no greater than benefits conferred on the property(s)," as required by the constitutional provision? (art. XIII D(4)(f).) (2) Can the benefit that future purchases of unidentified open space will confer upon everyone who lives or works in the assessment district be characterized as a "special benefit" to each parcel in district within the meaning of art. XIIID? (3) Under art. XIIID, may the agency impose an identitical assessment on all similar district properties (e.g, all single-family residences) or must it calculate benefit/cost to each individual parcel?


Professional Engineers in California Government v. Morales, No. S139917
Did Proposition 35 (General Elec. (Nov. 7, 2000)) repeal by implication statutes limiting the state's authority to use private contractors to perform architectural and engineering services on public works projects and thus allow state agencies to choose to contract out such services, or did the initiative merely accord the Legislature the as-yet unexercised power to authorize private contracting in this area?


Hernandez v. City of Pomona, S149499. (1) Does an action against a police officer for injury resulting from the use of deadly force implicate a single primary right, such that a final judgment in favor of the police officer on a civil rights claim in federal court is res judicata in a subsequent negligence action in state court based on the same circumstances and injury? (2) Where a federal court renders a final judgment that a police officer’s use of deadly force was objectively reasonable under the Fourth Amendment and the court subsequently declines to exercise pendent jurisdiction over a state law negligence claim, does the rule against splitting a cause of action bar a subsequent state court action on the negligence claim? (3) Does collateral estoppel bar a subsequent negligence claim based on “pre-seizure” conduct by the police officer that gave rise to the circumstances in which the officer was required to use deadly force?


Beal Bank v. Arter & Haden, No. S141131
Is the limitations period for a legal malpractice claim tolled as to an attorney's former law firm while the attorney continues to represent the client in the same subject matter at his or her new firm?

Doe v. City of Los Angeles, No. S142546
Were plaintiffs’ claims against the City of Los Angeles and the Boy Scouts of America for sexual abuse by a city police officer while they participated in police department programs in the 1970’s barred by the statute of limitations, or did plaintiffs sufficiently invoke the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, section 340.1, subdivision (b)(2), which permits the revival of certain claims of sexual abuse that would otherwise be barred where the defendant "knew or had reason to know, or was otherwise on notice, of any unlawful sexual conduct by an employee, volunteer, representative, or agent, and failed to take reasonable steps, and to implement reasonable safeguards, to avoid acts of unlawful sexual conduct in the future by that person"?

Shirk v. Vista Unified School District, No. S133687
Does Code of Civil Procedure section 340.1, which provides that the time for commencement of an action for damages from childhood sexual abuse is within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse, extend the time limit for presenting a claim for damages against a public entity under the Government Tort Claims Act (Gov. Code, section 900 et seq.)?

Hebrew Academy of San Francisco v. Goldman, No. S134873
When a publication containing an allegedly defamatory statement is available to the public but has a very limited distribution, does the statute of limitations on a defamation cause of action begin to run at the time of the first general distribution (the "single publication rule") or when the allegedly defamatory statement is or reasonably should have been discovered (the "discovery rule")?


Castaneda v. Olsher, No. S138104
May the proprietor of a mobile home park be required to provide security guards or take other security measures to prevent gang-related violence on the premises?

City of Santa Barbara v. Superior Court, No. S141643
Can a public agency’s release of liability for recreational activities be effective as to ordinary negligence under section 1668, as interpreted by Tunkl v. Univ. of Calif. (1963) 60 Cal.2d 91, but not as to gross negligence? Supplemental briefing requested on policy arguments, in particular, whether enforcing releases of liability for future ordinary negligence, but not for future gross negligence, would lead to the demise or substantial diminished availability of recreational services and programs.

Corder v. Corder, No. S138666
(1) Does the trial court in a wrongful death action have jurisdiction to apportion among the plaintiffs the proceeds of a settlement, or is the court's authority limited to apportioning an award of damages in such an action? (2) Was evidence that the decedent intended to divorce his wife admissible in an action to apportion a settlement in a wrongful death action, in the absence of any showing that such evidence was introduced in the wrongful death action itself or otherwise was considered in arriving at the amount of the settlement? (3) Did the evidence at the apportionment proceeding support the trial court's allocation of 90 percent of the settlement to the decedent's adult daughter and 10 percent to the decedent's wife?

Johnson v. American Standard, Inc., No. S139184
(1) Does the "sophisticated user" doctrine, which precludes a manufacturer's liability for failure to warn of a product risk that a sophisticated user should have recognized, apply in California? (2) If the doctrine applies, does it apply to strict liability causes of action and is a certified HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) technician a "sophisticated user" who should have known that noxious gas is created during maintenance and repair of air conditioning systems?

Metcalf v. County of San Joaquin, No. S144831. (1) Is a public entity liable under the Tort Claims Act (Gov. Code, § 810 et seq.) for an injury caused by a dangerous condition on the public entity’s property only if it acted negligently or wrongfully (see § 835, subd. (a)), or is it sufficient that the public entity created the dangerous condition (see § 835, subd. (b))? (2) Is the reasonableness of the public entity’s conduct in creating the allegedly dangerous condition an element of the plaintiff’s claim on which the plaintiff bears the burden of proof, or is it an affirmative defense on which the public entity bears the burden of proof?

Ramirez v. Nelson, No. S143819
For purposes of liability under Penal Code section 385, which makes it a misdemeanor for anyone "either personally or through an employee or agent," to move a tool or equipment within six feet of a high voltage overhead line, was an unlicensed tree trimmer hired by homeowners to trim trees, including a tree with branches within six feet of a high voltage line, considered to be an employee of the homeowners? (See Lab. Code sections 2750.5, 6303, subd. (b).)

Seibel v. Mittlesteadt, No. S125590
Whether a post-judgment settlement agreement revising a damages award and providing for the parties to withdraw their appeals but not providing for an amended judgment and expressly preserving the defendant's right to bring a malicious prosecution action precludes a finding of favorable termination in that defendant's subsequent malicious prosecution action.

Shin v. Ahn, No. S146114. Is the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk applicable under the circumstances of this case in which defendant allegedly hit a golf ball from the tee without ascertaining the location of another golfer in his party and the ball struck and injured the other golfer?


In re Tobacco II Cases, No. S147345. (1) In order to bring a class action under Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.), as amended by Proposition 64 (Gen. Elec. (Nov. 2, 2004)), must every member of the proposed class have suffered “injury in fact,” or is it sufficient that the class representative comply with that requirement? (2) In a class action based on a manufacturer’s alleged misrepresentation of a product, must every member of the class have actually relied on the manufacturer’s representations?


Zengen Inc. v. Comerica Bank, No. S142947
(1) Under Division 11 of the Uniform Commercial Code (Cal. U. Comm. Code, section 11101 et seq.), does an accountholder's notification to a bank that wire transfers were "unauthorized" satisfy the statutory requirement that an accountholder "object to the payment" for purposes of allocating loss between the accountholder and the bank when a fraudulent wire transfer is made? (2) Are an accountholder's common law tort and contract claims against a bank arising out of fraudulent payment orders for wire transfers preempted by the provisions of Division 11?


Sprint Telephone PCS, L.P. v. County of San Diego, No. S145541. (1) Do the statutes that give “telephone corporations” the right to erect “lines and other necessary fixtures of their lines” in the public right-of-way (Pub. Util. Code §§ 7901, 7901.1) apply to wireless telecommunications providers? (2) Does section 7901.1, subdivision (a), which gives local governments the right to control the “time, place and manner in which roads . . . are accessed,” permit a county ordinance that regulates the aesthetics of cellular telecommunications towers erected in the public right-of-way?

1 comment:

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