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  Wednesday, April 17, 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
Criminal Law and Procedure
A defense attorney performed ineffectively by not properly investigating a capital defendant's background and failing to present mitigating penalty-phase evidence regarding the defendant's education, incarceration, brain damage and history of substance abuse.

Washington v. Ryan - filed April 17, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 05-99009
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Government Law
Before issuing an award of fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act, a district court must identify those expenses that the plaintiffs would not have incurred but for the specific conduct that abused the judicial process, or to determine that the government's conduct so permeated all or a portion of the suit that all fees in the litigation, or a phase of it, would not have been incurred except for the misconduct.

Lu v. United States - filed April 17, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-55040
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Order
Ross v. Williams - filed April 16, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 16-16533
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CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL
Contracts
A contract was not reasonably susceptible to an interpretation that a band's performance royalties were excluded from the contract's revenue-sharing provision where the contract did not include any language indicating that income derived from performance royalties would be excluded from the "composition gross receipts" used to determine the band's revenue sharing payment.

Brown v. Goldstein - filed March 27, 2019, publication ordered April 16, 2019, Second District, Div. Seven
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1841
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Criminal Law and Procedure
A defendant's act of racing across an intersection, without braking, to scare the occupants of an on-coming vehicle, constituted assault. The fact that the defendant swerved away from the vehicle does not alter the analysis since assault does not require an intent to cause an application of physical force. A defendant whose case was not final when Senate Bill No. 1393 took effect is entitled to have a trial judge reconsider whether to dismiss his sentence enhancement for his prior serious felony convictions.

People v. Bipialaka - filed April 17, 2019, Second District, Div. Eight
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1850
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Torts
Citizen reports of suspected criminal activity can only be the basis for tort liability on a malicious prosecution theory. A defendant was entitled to a judgment notwithstanding the verdict where a jury found the defendant had intentionally filed a false police report causing a plaintiff emotional distress, but the plaintiff failed to allege and have the jury instructed on malicious prosecution.

Cox v. Griffin - filed April 17, 2019, Fourth District, Div. One
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 1854
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