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Employers Liable Only Once For Employee Negligence – California Follows the Majority Rule

Under respondeat superior, an employer is held vicariously liable for the acts of an employee when driving a vehicle within the scope of employment, irrespective of any fault by the employer. Alternatively, an employer can be directly liable for its own negligence under the theory of negligent hiring/retention or negligent entrustment. As a practical matter, … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Short List Profiles: Stanford Law Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar

Appellate Strategist’s survey of potential nominees to the California Supreme Court  begins with Mariano-Florentino Cuellar. Cuellar graduated from Calexico High School in Calexico, California. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 3 years (magna cum laude, 1993), he received a Master’s degree in political science from Stanford in 1996, followed by a law degree from Yale in … Continue Reading

Preemption, Standing and Vexatious Litigants on California Supreme Court’s May Argument Docket

The California Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for May, including four civil cases. Brown v. Mortensen: The Court will address whether the Federal Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.) preempts causes of action for the improper disclosure of medical information under California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Civ. Code, § 56 et … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument for April

Oasis West Realty v. Goldman (S181781) – Does an attorney’s duty of loyalty owed to a former client apply when the attorney actively takes a position against the former client on the same issue for which the lawyer previously had been retained, but does so while acting on his or her own behalf, without a … Continue Reading

The California Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Opinions Addressing Insurance, Consumer Protection and ADR

Insurance – In Century-National Ins. Co. v. Jesus Garcia, the court held that a fire insurance policy could not exclude coverage for innocent insureds because of the intentional acts of another insured; in this case the intentional act of the son setting fire to his parents house. The policy excluded coverage based on the intentional … Continue Reading

A Profile of the California Supreme Court (minus Justice Moreno)

Before profiling potential candidates to replace Justice Moreno on the California Supreme Court, we first provide a brief profile of the remaining court – not including Justice Moreno, whose announced retirement has initiated this discussion. When choosing a new member for the high court, there is often a discussion about what is “missing” from the … Continue Reading

A Unanimous CA Supreme Court Upholds Mediation Confidentiality

In Cassel v. Superior Court (Wasserman Comden Casselman & Pearson), the California Supreme Court evaluated the mediation confidentiality created by Evidence Code, § 1119, which prevents the admission of “evidence of anything said,” or any “writing” which was prepared “for the purpose of, in the course of, or pursuant to, a mediation. . . .”, … Continue Reading

Associate Justice Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court

After serving the California courts for twenty-four years, Associate Justice Carlos R. Moreno has announced his retirement from the court.  In a recent interview, Justice Moreno said that recent changes, including the retirement of Chief Justice Ronald George and the election of Governor Jerry Brown, had prodded him to explore other possibilities.  His retirement creates an … Continue Reading

CA Supreme Court schedules its February 2011 calendar

The CA Supreme Court has scheduled three civil cases for hearing on February 8, 2011. These cases address issues of duty & causation, the statute of limitations for multiple distinct injuries and the final judgment rule. Pooshs v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., et al., S172023, results from a request for guidance from the Ninth Circuit … Continue Reading

Retiring Chief Justice Ronald M. George — First of a Series

On January 3, 2011, the twenty-seventh Chief Justice of California, Ronald M. George, will conclude over thirty-eight years of service on the California bench. To mark the retirement of this great California jurist, we begin a four part profile on state’s third longest-serving Chief Justice. Born in March 1940, Chief Justice George graduated from Beverly Hills … Continue Reading

California Confirms Four Appointments to the Third Appellate District

Following the recent retirement of Justices Scotland and Sims, as well as the elevation of Justice Tani Cantil Sakauye to the California Supreme Court, the California Commission on Judicial Appointments has now confirmed four appointments for the Third Appellate District. First, Associate Justice Vance W. Raye, who has served on the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate … Continue Reading

Orders Compelling Compliance with a Legislative Subpoena Are Appealable in California

While avoiding the marijuana legalization debates raging in the state, the California Supreme Court confirmed that orders compelling five medical marijuana dispensaries to comply with subpoenas issued by the City of Dana Point were appealable, reversing the dismissal by the Court of Appeal in these consolidated cases. In Dana Point Safe Harbor Collective v. Superior … Continue Reading

The Forgotten Election – Three California Supreme Court Justices Stand For Election Tomorrow

With so much press devoted to political candidates and state propositions, there has been little attention to the three California Supreme Court justices who are standing for election tomorrow. Associate Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, currently sitting on the Third District Court of Appeal, is seeking confirmation of her nomination as the new Chief Justice, while … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Sets Oral Argument for December 2010

The California Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument in three civil cases for hearing in Los Angeles in December 2007. Cortez v. Abich, which will address the extent of the household domestic service exception to Cal-OHSA (Labor Code section 6300 et seq.) in light of the defendant home owner’s remodeling project, which added a new … Continue Reading

State Public Utilities Commission Has Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Claims that Utility Unreasonably Destroyed Crops Beneath Power Lines

A public utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, owns easements across rural properties traversed by its electric transmission lines.  The easements typically, as here, authorize PG&E to trim vegetation in the vicinity of its power lines to prevent accidental contacts that can cause fires and related damages.  After such a fire caused massive and widespread … Continue Reading

The California Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument For Four Civil Cases

The Court will hear oral argument on four civil cases this November, addressing a variety of issues: Cassel v. Superior Court. (Wasserman, Comden, Casselman & Pearson),S178914: (1) Are the private conversations of an attorney and client for the purpose of mediation entitled to confidentiality under Evid. Code §§1115 through 1128? (2) Is an attorney a … Continue Reading
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