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  Thursday, March 14, 2019  
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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.
NINTH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS
Constitutional Law
A school's decision to discipline a student for his off-campus speech does not violate his constitutional right to free speech if the speech bears a sufficient nexus to the school. There is always a sufficient nexus between the speech and the school when the school district reasonably concludes that it faces a credible, identifiable threat of school violence. The student's lack of intent to convey his off-campus speech to any third party is relevant to an evaluation of whether the speech constitutes a credible threat, but is not dispositive.

McNeil v. Sherwood School District 88J - filed March 14, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-35500
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Criminal Law and Procedure
Where a California trial court found that a petitioner's first state habeas petition was timely, and a Court of Appeal denied his second state habeas petition without explanation, the "look through" doctrine cannot answer the question of whether the second state habeas petition was timely. A petitioner's delay of almost one year after his filing of his first habeas petition rendered his second petition untimely without a showing of good cause for the delay.

Valdez v. Montgomery - filed March 14, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 16-56845
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Criminal Law and Procedure
Evidence of a trafficking victim's pre- or post-indictment involvement in prostitution implicates her "other sexual behavior" or "sexual predisposition" and therefore is not admissible, even under the exception in Federal Rule of Evidence 412(b)(1)(C) where the defendant is arguing that he had not intended to pimp the minor victim. The applicability of Rule 412 does not depend on the alleged victim's desire to testify.

United States v. Haines - filed March 14, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-10059
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Criminal Law and Procedure
A district court commits reversible error by permitting defense counsel to present a defense of insanity over a competent defendant's clear rejection of that defense.

United States v. Read - filed March 14, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-10439
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CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT
Modification
People v. Johnson - filed March 13, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1181
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CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL
Consumer Protection
No special wording or formulaic language is required to evidence that the parties intended to create a security interest for purposes of the Uniform Commercial Code. The security agreement and the parties' intent need not be evidenced by a single stand-alone written document, but may be ascertained through consideration of several documents. The indication of collateral covered in a financing statement may be, and often is, broader or more general than the collateral description in the security agreement. A financing statement sufficiently indicates the collateral if it describes the type or category of property items covered, which may include stating "all" of a type or category of property items. A security interest in collateral does not continue to apply after sale of the collateral if the sale was authorized by the secured party free of the security interest. A finance company purchasing conditional sales contracts for certain vehicles was in the last and best position to prevent loss by requiring production of title certificates for the vehicles, or at least verifying who held the title certificates and how much was owed to obtain them, the company therefore had responsibility pay the title certificate holders for the title certificates.

Ron Miller Enterprises, Inc. v. Lobel Fin. Corporation, Inc. - filed Feb. 15, 2019, publication ordered March 14, 2019, Fifth District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1182
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Modification
Fudge v. City of Laguna Beach - filed March 14, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1190
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MEMBER BENEFIT SPOTLIGHT
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

Maria Hall   Maria Hall
Maria Hall is a civil rights lawyer and director of the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium (LAIC), a legal incubator that supports recent graduates of Loyola, UCLA and Southwestern Law Schools as they build sustainable, community-based solo practices. LAIC’s mission is to increase access to affordable legal services and justice.

Now in its fifth year, LAIC has nurtured the development of 52 solo community lawyers in a variety of practice areas. Its participants speak 23 different languages, and they have together contributed more than 6,000 pro bono hours to LA’s most vulnerable populations.

Maria became a solo attorney in 2005, two years after graduating from USC Gould School of Law. During her post-graduate fellowship at Communities for a Better Environment, an environmental justice organization in Southeast LA, she saw firsthand how thousands of Angelenos lacked access to affordable lawyers. She then decided to build a firm representing low and modest income clients in the areas of civil rights, housing, and environmental health and justice. She later expanded her practice to include employment law.

In 2018, Maria founded Lawyers and Communities Together (“Lawyers ACT”), a nonprofit organization that pairs “private public interest” lawyers with social services agencies to implement grassroots community lawyering projects and policies. The group's first project is to provide "legal triage" for a year to program participants of South Bay Center for Counseling in Wilmington. 

Maria is the immediate past president of the board of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and is the current vice president of the board of the Mexican American Bar Foundation. She also serves on the board of the Friends of the LA Law Library. She is an active LACBA member, and enjoys serving on both its Lawyer Referral Service Advisory Committee and its Access to Justice Committee.

Maria received the USC Latino Law Students Association’s Inspirational Alumnus Award in 2017 and Southwestern Law School’s Public Service Program Award in 2018.

 
 
 
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