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  Tuesday, March 26, 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.
U.S. SUPREME COURT
Environmental Law
The Nation River is not public land for purposes of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act because running waters cannot be owned, and under the Submerged Lands Act, it is the State of Alaska that holds title to and ownership of the lands beneath the river's navigable waters. Non-public lands within Alaska's national parks are exempt from the Park Service's ordinary regulatory authority. Navigable waters within Alaska's national parks are also exempt from the Park Service's normal regulatory authority.

Sturgeon v. Frost - filed March 26, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-949
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Government Law
Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Sec. 1608(a)(3) requires a mailing to be sent directly to the foreign minister's office in the foreign state.

Republic of Sudan v. Harrison - filed March 26, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 16-1094
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CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL
Civil Procedure
Hong Kong's declaration objecting to Article 10 of the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters is limited to documents sent through "official channels" from "judicial, consular or diplomatic officers". The declaration does not require a private party to make a request to Hong Kong's Central Authority before using an agent to serve another party personally.

Whyenlee Industries v. Superior Court (Huang) - filed March 22, 2019, First District, Div. Four
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1310
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Contract Law
With regard to oral contracts that fall within the statute of frauds category of contracts not to be performed within a year, a promisee's full performance of all of his obligations under the contract takes the contract out of the statute of frauds, and no further showing of estoppel is required. Precedent providing that avoidance of the statute of frauds requires the promisee to satisfy the elements of estoppel–showing extraordinary services by the promisee or unjust enrichment by the promisor–does not apply to the category of contracts not to be performed within a year.

Zakk v. Diesel - filed March 25, 2019, Second District, Div. Four
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1314
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Criminal Law and Procedure
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States in McCoy v. Louisiana, affords a defendant an absolute right to decide the objective of his defense and to insist that his counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel's experience-based view is that confessing guilt might yield the best outcome at trial.

People v. Eddy - filed March 26, 2019, Third District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1324
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Criminal Law and Procedure
A criminal court erred in denying a minor defendant's request that his case be transferred back to juvenile court for a transfer hearing pursuant to the procedures set out in Proposition 57, which the electorate passed after the defendant's original hearing in juvenile court.

People v. Castillero - filed March 25, 2019, Sixth District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1328
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Employment Law
An agreement to arbitrate "any claim, dispute, and/or controversy" that an employee may have against her employer was applicable to the employee's claim of discrimination. An arbitration agreement may be applied retroactively to transactions which occurred prior to execution of the arbitration agreement.

Salgado v. Carrows Restaurants Inc. - filed Feb. 26, 2019, publication ordered March 25, 2019, Second District, Div. Six
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1332
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Family Law
A minor's counsel is entitled to receive a copy of her client's case file, including any Resource Family Approval Program information, upon request. If counsel determines that access to additional confidential information is necessary to fulfill her duties and responsibilities to the child under federal and state law, on a showing of good cause, minor's counsel may petition the juvenile court for access to additional RFA information. Notice must be provided to the relative whose information is being sought. The court may permit disclosure of juvenile case files only insofar as is necessary, and only if the petitioner shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the records requested are necessary and have substantial relevance to the legitimate need of the petitioner, and the child's needs to inspect those records outweigh the relative resource family's interests in confidentiality of the information.

In re Charlotte C. - filed March 25, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1335
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Family Law
Nothing in In re Marriage of Hayden limits a trial court's equitable powers to set the appropriate date of property valuation at remand only where one party acts to the detriment of the other between the date of the underlying trial and the eventual remand of the case. A trial court has discretion to set a property valuation date after appeal according to principles of equity based on the facts of the case. A trial court erred in characterizing a parcel of real property as a husband's separate property where the parties stipulated the property was community property and the property was acquired during marriage in joint form.

In re Marriage of Oliverez - filed Feb. 28, 2019, publication ordered March 25, 2019, Sixth District
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1345
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Government Law
The remedy of quo warranto is available to challenge purported irregularities in the legislative process of a charter amendment which has taken effect. While there is precedent allowing a court in a mandamus proceeding to decide a quo warranto issue when the quo warranto issue is incidental to the mandamus issue, in such circumstance, the court's inquiry into and determination of the quo warranto issue may not extend any further than necessary to resolve the mandamus issue. When the Public Employment Relations Board has no power to directly undo an action, the PERB's remedy is to order bargaining over the effects of the action and backpay for the affected bargaining unit employees during the bargaining process.

Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board - filed March 25, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1354
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Torts
The Education Code allocates liability for negligence between school districts and entities allowed to use school district grounds. A district is liable for an injury resulting from the negligence of the district in the ownership and maintenance of the school facilities or grounds, and the user is liable for an injury resulting from the negligence of that entity during the use of the school facilities or grounds. The Education Code does not alter the provision in Government Code Sec. 835 limiting a public entity's liability to "an injury caused by a dangerous condition of public property".

Grossman v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District - filed March 25, 2019, Second District, Div. Seven
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1360
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Modification
People v. Orozco - filed March 25, 2019, Second District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1365
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Modification
Millview County Water District v. State Water Resources Control Board - filed March 25, 2019, First District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1366
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Modification
People ex rel. Becerra v. Huber - filed March 22, 2019, First District, Div. Four
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1367
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MEMBER BENEFIT SPOTLIGHT
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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

Heather E. Stern   Heather E. Stern
Heather E. Stern is a Partner with Parker Ibrahim & Berg LLP, where she practices real estate-related litigation and represents financial institutions in connection with financial services-related litigation matters. She has substantial experience litigating matters pertaining to construction loans, letters of credit, guaranties, reverse mortgages, and the underwriting, origination, servicing and sale of residential mortgages. Ms. Stern also assists real property owners and others in the real estate industry with their real property disputes. Her practice includes handling purchase and sale contract and disclosure related litigation; adjoining property owner litigation such as boundary and easement disputes; commercial landlord-tenant matters; partition actions; eminent domain; and partnership/joint venture disputes among real estate investors. She has also served as an expert witness on the standard of care in handling a real estate litigation matter and has spoken on topics, and authored numerous articles, in her field of expertise.  

Ms. Stern is the 2018-2019 President of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA), which will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary in September of 2019. She is also a member of the Governing Committee of Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB). She served on the Editorial Board of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine for over 10 years, including as one of the Coordinating Editors of the annual Real Estate issue for four years.  She also serves on the LACBA/WLALA Joint Task Force on the Retention and Promotion of Women Lawyers, which she Co-Chaired from 2016-2018.

 
 
 
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