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  Monday, March 11, 2019  
The following caselaw summaries are provided as a courtesy to Los Angeles County Bar Association members by the Metropolitan News-Enterprise www.metnews.com. Summaries from the past 90 days are archived and searchable on the LACBA Web site at www.lacba.org/news-and-publications/daily-ebriefs.
Bankruptcy Law
If a consignee files for bankruptcy, any consigned "goods" in its possession become property of the bankruptcy estate unless the seller has previously provided public notice of its interest in the goods and thereby "perfected" its interest. This rule also extends to the proceeds from goods sold that are held by the consignee on the date it files for bankruptcy.

In re Petit Oil Company - filed March 11, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-60081
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Criminal Law and Procedure
Distinctions between adult criminal prosecutions and juvenile delinquency proceedings preclude application of the mental health diversion law to juvenile cases.

In re M.S. - filed March 11, 2019, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1108
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Criminal Law and Procedure
A trial court erred in admitting a defendant's statements to police two days after his arrest because the police ignored his prior assertion of his Miranda rights and asked him questions they should have known could result in the defendant incriminating himself. Such error was harmless where other evidence provided ample support for his convictions. A trial court erred in allowing a gang expert to testify about inadmissible case-specific and testimonial hearsay to establish the defendants' gang affiliation and their related motives, intents and activities. The error was harmless when other evidence overwhelmingly established the defendants had acted together as gang members, in further of the gang's objectives. A trial court erred when it instructed a jury that it could convict defendants of first degree murder as aiders and abettors to an assault, the natural and probable consequence of which was first degree murder. The error was harmless because the record indicates the jury convicted the defendants based on the prosecution's other theory that they were direct aiders and abettors or conspirators in first degree murder. Senate Bill 1437 establishes a specific procedure by which those who have been convicted of murder based on a natural and probable consequences theory of liability or felony murder rule may petition the sentencing court to consider the evidence, including new and additional evidence beyond that contained in the record of conviction, and, if appropriate, vacate a murder conviction under the new law.

People v. Anthony - filed March 8, 2019, First District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1114
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Criminal Law and Procedure
Where a defendant negotiates a plea for a stipulated sentence and waives the right to appeal the sentence, the defendant cannot take advantage of a favorable sentencing law enacted after her conviction, even though the change has retroactive application.

People v. Barton - filed March 8, 2019, Fifth District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1134
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Employment Law
The ministerial exception to the Labor Code did not apply to a group of teachers at a preschool operated by a temple where the teachers were not given religious titles, they are not ordained or otherwise recognized as spiritual leaders, they were not required to have any formal religious education or training, they did not hold themselves out as ministers, and they taught both secular and religious curricula.

Su v. Stephen S. Wise Temple - filed March 8, 2019, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1139
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Family Law
A husband's agreement to pay spousal support did not terminate by operation of law upon the wife's remarriage because the parties had agreed in writing that Family Code sec. 43371 would not apply.

In re Marriage of Martin - filed March 11, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1146
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Insurance Law
Where a plaintiff's complaint alleges facts embraced by an indemnity agreement, the indemnitor has a duty to defend throughout the underlying tort action unless it can conclusively show by undisputed facts that plaintiff's action is not covered by the agreement. The duty to defend arises immediately upon the proper tender of defense of a claim embraced by the indemnity agreement.

Centex Homes v. R-Help Construction Company, Inc. - filed March 11, 2019, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1158
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AI for Attorneys -- by Thomson Reuters 1-800-WESTLAW Artificial intelligence technology is in the news and on lawyers' minds as they consider how advancements in machine learning and automation will affect their industry. Will it become standard? What is "good" legal AI? And how are attorneys using it?

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LACBA Celebrates Over 140 Years of Service to the Los Angeles Legal Community and Recognizes Past and Present Bar Leaders in Honor of Women’s History Month

Vidhya Ragunathan   Vidhya Ragunathan
Vidhya joined ICLC as its Pro Bono Coordinator in January 2015 and is currently its Director of Pro Bono. Prior to joining ICLC, she practiced complex commercial litigation for over five years at the law firms of Crowell & Moring LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Vidhya handled a variety of matters relating to antitrust, real estate, contracts, environmental law, and insurance. Vidhya also maintained an active pro bono practice, representing a variety of clients on issues such as immigration, guardianship, and housing law. Vidhya is active in the legal community, currently serving on the board of the Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee. She was a member of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California (SABA-SC), a president of SABA-SC’s Public Interest Foundation, a board member of the South Asian Network, and a member of the State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services.  

Vidhya received degrees in Political Science and Psychology from UCLA and her J.D. from UCLA.

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