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Criminal Law & Procedure
Wolfe v. Clarke
The district court's Order Enforcing Judgment releasing defendant, who had previously convicted of capital murder and related charges and sentenced to death, that were subsequently vacated, and barring his retrial, is vacated and remanded, where the district court: 1) did not abuse its discretion in ruling that the Commonwealth neglected to satisfy either compliance option under the Relief Order, which required that defendant be retried or released within 120 days; but 2) did abuse its discretion in barring defendant's retrial because the constitutional claims for which defendant was awarded habeas corpus relief are readily capable of being remedied in a new trial.
People v. Pizarro
Defendant's murder conviction is reversed and remanded for a new trial, where: 1) Juror No. 9's reading of the 2002 appellate opinion in this case that contained information that was not disclosed in the second trial, judged objectively, is inherently and substantially likely to have influenced the juror, warranting a new trial; and 2) the presumption of prejudice arising from Juror No. 9's misconduct was not rebutted.
Metrish v. Lancaster
Defendant is not entitled to federal habeas relief, where: 1) after defendant's first trial but prior to his retrial, the Michigan Supreme Court 2001 decision in Carpenter, held that the diminished-capacity defense was not encompassed within the Michigan Legislature's comprehensive scheme for mental-illness defenses and thus could not be invoked by criminal defendants; 2) in light of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the history of Michigan's diminished-capacity defense, the Michigan Court of Appeals' decision applying Carpenter retroactively at defendant's retrial is not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law; and thus, 3) defendant's due process rights were not violated.
People v. Fernandez
Defendant's convictions for sexual abuse of his granddaughters is affirmed, where: 1) defendant forfeited his right to complain that the trial court erred when it permitted the prosecution to amend the information; 2) there was no instructional error; 3) defendant's assertions of prosecutorial misconduct fail, and even assuming any improper argument was made, the argument was harmless, and no prejudice has been, or can be, demonstrated; 4) defendant's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel lack merit; and 5) defendant has not shown cumulative error.
Gregory v. Cott
The primary assumption of risk doctrine bars plaintiff from recovering on her claims for battery, negligence and premises liability against defendants, where plaintiff is an in-home caregiver providing services to defendant-wife for Alzheimer's disease and the inherent risk of hazardous conduct by an Alzheimer's patient renders the possibility of injury obvious and negates the duty of care usually owed by the defendant for those particular risks of harm.
Daniels v. Sunrise Senior Living
In action for elder abuse, wrongful death, and related survival claims against defendant owners and operators of a residential care facility for the elderly, trial court's order denying defendants' petition to arbitrate claims is affirmed, where: 1) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to compel arbitration of any of the claims; 2) Herbert v. Superior Court (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 718 has no bearing on third party wrongful death claims outside the context of medical malpractice claims pursuant to CA Code of Civil Procedure section 1295; and 3) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining there was a possibility of conflicting rulings on common questions of law and fact if the survivor claims but not the wrongful death claim were ordered to arbitration.
Gross v. Rell
In plaintiff's suit against number of defendants, including his conservator, a court-appointed attorney, and a nursing home, asserting both federal and state law claims, district court's dismissal is vacated and remanded where: 1) the scope of federal quasi-judicial immunity for conservators and court-appointed attorneys for conservatees is the same as Connecticut quasi-judicial immunity; but 2) the nursing home in whose care the conservator placed the plaintiff-conservatee is not entitled to quasi-judicial immunity.
Cash v. Winn
In a suit for overtime wages brought by an in-home caretaker who was not a licensed or trained nurse, judgment in favor of the plaintiff is reversed, where: 1) the plaintiff performed the duties of a personal attendant and did not spend more than 20 percent of her weekly work time performing other duties, and so was exempt from overtime; and 2) a "regular administration of health care services" exception does not exist under California law as applied to a household employee who is not licensed or trained to perform nursing or other medical services.
CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation v. State Personnel Board (Moya)
The Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act excepts internal workers' compensation fraud investigations from the one-year limitations period established in Government Code section 3304(d)(1).
County of Sacramento v. WCAB
An award by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (Board) is annulled and remanded, where the factual basis of the evaluator's opinion, as revealed in her reports and deposition, do not constitute substantial evidence supporting her conclusion that the worker's psychiatric injury was not substantially caused by personnel actions.
Kealhoa v. Office of Workers Compensation Programs
Evidence that a claimant planned his suicide does not necessarily preclude compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act because the proper inquiry is whether the claimant's work-related injury caused him to attempt suicide, so claimant's petition for review of the Benefits Review Board's decision is granted, and the matter is remanded for the Board or the Administrative Law Judge to apply the proper chain of causation test, and not the irresistible impulse test.
In the Matter of Howard
In an action to determine whether claimant's Alford plea should be given preclusive effect in a subsequent workers' compensation proceeding, the decision of the Workers' Compensation Board appealed from and the order of the Appellate Division brought up for review are affirmed, because it cannot be said that the guilty plea necessarily resolved the issue raised in the workers' compensation proceeding.
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