eBrief May 14, 2019

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2019


U.S. Supreme Court

Consumer Protection

The broad language of §4 of the Clayton Act readily covers consumers who purchase goods or services at higher-than-competitive prices from an allegedly monopolistic retailer; the immediate buyers from the alleged antitrust violators may maintain a suit against the antitrust violators.

Apple, Inc. v. Pepper; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-204


Government Law

The limitations period in 31 U.S.C. §3731(b)(2) applies in a relator-initiated suit in which the government has declined to intervene; both government-initiated suits under §3730(a) and relator-initiated suits under §3730(b) are “civil action[s] under section 3730.” The relator in a nonintervened suit is not “the official of the United States” whose knowledge triggers §3731(b)(2)’s three-year limitations period.

Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 18-315


Government Law

States retain their sovereign immunity from private suits brought in courts of other states.

Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-1299


Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Criminal Law and Procedure

The Arizona Supreme Court erred in rejecting a habeus corpus petitioner’s proffered mental-impairment mitigation evidence on the ground that the alleged impairment did not have a causal nexus to the commission of the crime, but the error was harmless where the petitioner failed to establish even the existence of any such impairment. Defense counsel’s representation fell below the objective standard of reasonableness where counsel did not begin penalty-phase investigation promptly after they were appointed.

Kayer v. Ryan; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 09-99027


California Court of Appeal

Consumer Protection

A sales transaction involved attempted seller-assisted loans where the evidence established that a car dealer intended to enter into a binding contract only if and when the condition of financing was met; those loans were subject to §2982.5 of the Rees-Levering Motor Vehicles Sales and Finance Act.

Front Line Motor Cars v. Webb; Fourth District, Div. Three; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2200


Criminal Law and Procedure

Even if a trial court violated a defendant’s due process rights by imposing fees and fines without taking his ability to pay into account, any error was harmless where the record demonstrated that the defendant had past income-earning capacity, he will have the ability to earn prison wages over a sustained period, and he will have ample time to pay the modest financial burden imposed.

People v. Johnson; First District, Div. Four; filed May 10, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2208


Criminal Law and Procedure

Penal Code §496(c) is clear and unambiguous, and its remedial provisions should be applied where a clear violation of §496(a) has been found.

Switzer v. Wood; Fifth District; filed April 15, 2019, publication ordered May 10, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2210


Criminal Law and Procedure

Penal Code §1170.95(a)’s petitioning procedure applies to a juvenile whose murder allegation was sustained by the juvenile court on a natural and probable consequences theory prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 1437.

In re R.G.; Second District, Div. Six; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2219


Real Property

A plaintiff stated a viable breach of contract claim against a homeowners association where the plaintiffs presented evidence the association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions asserted that the association would keep a project’s common areas “in first class condition,” yet the association was performing no preventive maintenance; outside the covenants, conditions, and restrictions, the association had no independent duty to maintain pipes and roofing in the project’s common areas.

Sands v. Walnut Gardens Condominium Association; Second District, Div. Eight; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2223



People v. Julian; Second District, Div. Six; filed May 13, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2225