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  Thursday, May 9, 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
The common law right of access attaches to pre-trial offers of proof for a duress defense, but this right of access can be overcome for a "compelling reason." Evidence of trafficking of marijuana to a defendant's house, and the subsequent disappearance of the marijuana, was admissible to provide a "coherent and comprehensible story" regarding the background for the kidnapping of the victim. Evidence of a defendant's use of drugs during the course of the kidnapping should not have been admitted since it was in no way relevant to the commission of the charged offense, but the error was harmless given the overwhelming evidence as to his guilt.

United States v. Carpenter - filed May 9, 2019
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-10498
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CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL
Civil Procedure
A trial court abused its discretion in dismissing a case that a plaintiff had not brought to trial within three years when a trial date had been set pursuant to the parties' stipulation and the case was ready for trial.

Corrinet v. Bardy - filed May 9, 2019, First District, Div. Four
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2174
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Criminal Law and Procedure
An order transferring a defendant's case to the juvenile court pursuant to Proposition 57 is appealable under Penal Code Sec. 1238(a)(5) where a judgment had been entered against the defendant and he was sentenced, his sentence was reversed and re-sentencing was ordered before the case was transferred.

People v. Ramirez - filed May 8, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2179
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Family Law
For purposes of Family Code Sec. 7822(a)(3), a parent abandons her child when she leaves the child with the other parent for a year, with no communication or financial support, and the intent to abandon the child. A mother who sent her children to live with their father while she diligently treated her addictions before trying to regain custody did not abandon her children.

In re H.D. - filed May 8, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Two
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2183
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Insurance Law
A trial court's minute order overturning an administrative decision without any indication of an analysis of whether the administrative findings had been supported by the weight of the evidence cannot be allowed to stand. An insurer's "broker fees" were not premium where the carrier did not dispute that the brokers were its agents, acting on its behalf. An insurer received fair notice that it could be subjected to penalties because of its failure to obtain prior approval for its broker fees was a willful violation of rate statutes. A penalty may be imposed under Insurance Code Sec. 1858.07 for non-willful violations.

Mercury Insurance v. Lara (Consumer Watchdog) - filed May 7, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2187
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Modification
Mercury Insurance Company v. Lara - filed May 8, 2019, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2199
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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 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

“Hon.   Hon. Robert Kwan
Judge Robert Kwan serves on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, the largest bankruptcy court in the country, with 20 judges. Judge Kwan’s case docket in the court’s Los Angeles Division includes both consumer and business bankruptcy cases. Before his appointment in 2007, Judge Kwan spent most of his legal career with the U.S. Department of Justice, first as a civil rights attorney, enforcing the Voting Rights Act, and then as a civil tax attorney, with “Main Justice” in Washington, D.C. After a short stint in private practice, Judge Kwan was an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, litigating civil and bankruptcy tax cases and prosecuting criminal tax cases. Judge Kwan regularly speaks at bar programs on bankruptcy and tax topics and has been active in the bar, particularly LACBA, serving on various committees, including several stints as a LACBA trustee, and was one of the organizers of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the James T. King Southern California Bankruptcy Inn of Court. According to his cousin, Judge Michael Kwan, of the Taylorsville, Utah, Municipal Justice Court and president of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad this year, their great great grandfather was one of the some 12,000 Chinese railroad workers who largely built the Central Pacific Railroad portion of the transcontinental railroad from Sacramento to Salt Lake up through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a remarkable engineering feat requiring arduous work in difficult and dangerous conditions. Judge Kwan thinks it has been an incredible journey for his family starting with an immigrant from a farm village in Hoiping (Kaiping) District, Kwangtung Province, China, passing through the Golden Gate, working as a coolie railroad laborer to five generations later, in all walks of life in America, including members of the judiciary. Judge Kwan is the first federal bankruptcy judge of Chinese ancestry.

 
 
 
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