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Thursday, October 18, 2018

The following caselaw summaries are provided as a courtesy to Los Angeles County Bar Association members by the Metropolitan News-Enterprisewww.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.

In re Complaint of Judicial Misconduct- filed Oct. 18, 2018
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 18-90084
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Civil Procedure
A trial court is obligated to grant relief under Code of Civil Procedure Sec. 473(b) when a plaintiff presents a sworn declaration from his counsel attesting that counsel mistakenly failed to respond to a demurrer by timely filing an amended complaint since the demurrer was effectively a "dismissal motion."

Pagnini v. Union Bank- filed Oct. 17, 2018, First District, Div. Five
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5029
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Criminal Law and Procedure
A trial judge erred in instructing the jury that if it found the defendant had committed one or more of the charged auto burglaries by a preponderance of the evidence, it could consider that evidence in deciding identity and intent to commit theft for the other charged crimes. The error was harmless, however, because it was clear beyond a reasonable doubt that a rational jury would have reached the same verdict had the challenged instruction not been given.

People v. Jones- filed Oct. 17, 2018, First District, Div. Two
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5032
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Criminal Law and Procedure
A courtroom qualifies as a "local detention facility" within the meaning of Penal Code Sec. 243.9(a).

People v. Valdez- filed Oct. 17, 2018, Second District, Div. Three
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5041
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Environmental Law
Although the state water board has discretion to determine how much time is reasonable for implementation for a pollution control plan, as well as appropriate milestones, a modification to a waiver of discharge requirements that requires only vague and indefinite improvement does not provide a "high likelihood" that water quality requirements will be attained, such a revision was therefore improper.

Monterey Coastkeeper v. State Water Resources Control Board- filed Sept. 18, 2018, publication ordered Oct. 17, 2018, Third District
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5044
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Government Law

A public official's conviction for obstruction of justice does not necessarily imply moral corruption and dishonesty, thus it does not establish a conviction for "malfeasance in office" within the meaning of the California Constitution.

People ex rel. City of Commerce v. Argumedo- filed Oct. 17, 2018, Second District, Div. One
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5055
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Trusts and Estates
Probate Code Sec. 16440 gives trial courts wide latitude in deciding whether and what types of damages to impose on a trustee who commits a breach of trust. Substantial evidence supported a finding that a trustee acted reasonably and in good faith by failing to evict a long-time family friend from the home where he had resided for over 40 years, given that he was senile and destitute with no means to care for himself, and the trust profited from the trustee's inaction since the property appreciated in value.

Orange Catholic Foundation v. Arvizu- filed Oct. 17, 2018, Fourth District, Div. Three
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5058
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Chacker v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.- filed Oct. 17, 2018, Second District, Div. Five
Cite as 2018 S.O.S. 5063
Full text click here>

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