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Constitutional Law

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The female complainant in a university's disciplinary proceeding against a male student for alleged sexual assault on the complainant was not an indispensable party to the male student's mandate proceeding against the university for violating his due process rights in its proceedings which resulted in disciplining him.  While the complainant had an interest in the mandate proceeding, complete relief could… Read More

Despite CCP 1710.40'sopen-ended list of potential defenses to a sister state judgment, under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, the statute does not and cannot create an opportunity to raise defenses to the merits of the underlying claims resolved in the sister state judgment. Thus, defenses based on a contract's arbitration, forum selection and choice of law clause could not… Read More

One union representing some of Antioch's employees brought an administrative grievance making the same claim as the retired employee plaintiff brought in this later suit--that the City was stinting them on contributions for their benefit to CalPers,  This decision holds that the due process limits on collateral estoppel keep it from operating to bar the current suit based on the… Read More

Flags often are raised as a form of government speech on government-owned property.  The government has the right to control its own speech including what flags it flies.  However, in this case, Boston allowed private groups to fly their flags from government-owned poles about 20 times a year.  Those flag-flying days were not government speech.  So on those days, the… Read More

As a Juul employee, Grove obtained stock options which he exercised to buy shares of Juul stock.  Grove sued Juul in California asserting a claim for the right to inspect Juul's books and records and also class and derivative claims against Juul's officers and directors.  The California court first stayed the inspection claim based on the forum selection clause in… Read More

Plaintiff did not allege an actionable equal protection claim based on a "class of one" discrimination.  To state such a claim, the plaintiff must allege facts showing it was treated differently from others who were similarly situated in all material respects.  Because they operate a materially different business model, at a significantly different price point, using new and different technology,… Read More

Austin's ordinance banning signs advertising goods or services not sold on the premises where the sign is located did not infringe sign owners' First Amendment rights.  Even though the ordinance required some examination of the contents of the advertising to determine whether it related to goods or services sold on the premises, the ordinance was facially content-neutral.  Austin's ’s on-/off-premises… Read More

Although procedural fairness does not prohibit the combination of the advocacy and adjudicatory functions within a single administrative agency, tasking the same individual with both roles violates the minimum constitutional standards of due process. The irreconcilable conflict between advocating for the agency on one hand, and being an impartial decisionmaker on the other, presents a particular combination of circumstances creating… Read More

This decision affirms a preliminary injunction issued against the California Attorney General and private parties preventing them from filing suit under Prop. 65 to require food manufacturers to give the standard Prop. 65 warning about acrylamide being a chemical supposedly "known" to cause cancer.  Under Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626 (1985), the compelled speech (the required… Read More

A district court may approve a class action settlement that provides monetary relief only in the form of cy pres payments to non-parties, so long as distribution to class members is not possible and the recipients of the cy pres payments are appropriately chosen in light of the nature of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, the objectives of the underlying statutes, and… Read More

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