Notable Cases

Notable Cases

People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th 665. In this landmark case, the California Supreme Court agreed with our arguments that statements a “gang expert” relied on to opine on defendant's gang membership were hearsay, explaining that, when an expert relates case-specific out-of-court statements and treats the content of those statements as true to support expert's opinion, the statements are admitted for their truth; and if they are testimonial, there is a potential Confrontation Clause violation.

Jeff Tracy, Inc. v. City of Pico Rivera (2015) 240 Cal. App. 4th 510. The Court of Appeal agreed our contractor client was entitled to a jury trial on a licensure issue, reversing a $5,487,370.05 judgment.

Frederick v. Superior Court (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 988. The Court of Appeal granted our writ petition, directing the trial court to vacate an order premised on the mistaken belief the trial court had lost jurisdiction when one spouse had died. The Court of Appeal agreed with us the trial court retained jurisdiction to issue orders nunc pro tunc to a date prior to the spouse’s death.

In re Marriage of Samson (2011) 197 Cal.App.4th 23, published reversal. The Court of Appeal agreed with our arguments that the trial court had incorrectly allocated all of appellant husband’s substantial severance pay to a single month for the purposes of calculating temporary spousal support.

Adoption of Baby Girl C., Guardianship of Baby Girl C., G043887, G043548, G044022. In this widely-publicized “Baby Vanessa” case, we successfully obtained a stay in the Court of Appeal, preventing the transfer of the child from California to the social services agency in Ohio. After extensive briefing in the Court of Appeal, the parties settled the matter in Ohio with an order awarding custody of the child to our client, the prospective adoptive mother.

People v. Kelly, (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 73, published reversal. The Court of Appeal reversed a $14,606.66 restitution award, ruling the Recording Industry Association of America was only a trade association, not a direct victim of offenses concerning counterfeit compact discs.

In re Charlotte D. (2009) 45 Cal. 4th 1140. I successfully represented adopting parents in securing reversal of Court of Appeal’s ruling concerning constitutionality of Probate Code section 1516.5 in a case in which the biological father manifestly failed to fulfill his parental responsibilities and did not promptly defend his custodial rights.

Adoption of Joshua S. (2008) 42 Cal.4th 945. I successfully represented the appellant, first in the Court of Appeal and then California Supreme Court in reversing a substantial award of attorney fees granted by the trial court under the “private attorney general doctrine” of California Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5

In re Lauren R. (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 841. I secured a reversal on behalf of the adopting parent of a trial court order removing the minor from her home. The Court of Appeal agreed the relative placement preference of Welfare and Institutions Code section 361.3 did not apply to a placement for adoption when no new placement was necessary; rather, the caretaker preference of Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26, subdivision (k) applied.

In re Kevin S. (2003) 113 Cal. App. 4th 97. This was a case of first impression establishing that, pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, protective measures applicable to adult criminal appeals also applied in juvenile delinquency matters.

In re Karen C. (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 832. In this case the court held that California’s “presumed father” statutes of the Uniform Parentage Act also applied to mothers.

Adoption of Alexander M. (2001) 94 Cal.App.4th 403. I represented the adopting parents’ opposing an appeal by a birth father and in pursuing their own petition for writ of mandate. The Court of Appeal granted our writ petition, commanding the superior court to hold a hearing on the adopting parent’s petition to terminate the birth father’s parental rights under Family Code section 7664, subdivision (b).

In re Santos Y. (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 1274. Representing the adopting parents, I first obtained a stay of a trial court order directing the child be delivered to the custody of an Indian reservation in Minnesota. The Court of Appeal then reversed the trial court’s ruling and found the application of the Indian Child Welfare Act to this child was “unconstitutional under the Fifth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.”

In re Bridget R. (1996) 41 Cal.App.4th 1483. The Court of Appeal agreed with my original arguments the Indian Child Welfare Act constituted an unconstitutional violation of the Fifth, Tenth an Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution in cases in which a child’s biological parents have no significant connection to an Indian tribe or reservation life. To my knowledge, this is the first time any Federal Indian legislation has been declared unconstitutional in the history of United States law.

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