eBriefs June 20, 2019



California Court of Appeal

Consumer Protection

Rejecting a settlement offer because of unfavorable terms is neither unreasonable nor a permissible ground for denying an award of attorney fees under the Song-Beverly Act. Where a party continues to litigate after receiving a settlement offer, absent a finding that failure to resolve the case through negotiation was unreasonable or solely attributable to counsel’s desire to generate more fees, additional fees incurred to establish liability or damages, including evidence of willfulness necessary to recover civil penalties, are properly included in an award of fees under Civil Code §1794(d). While a trial court is entitled to consider a consumer’s retainer agreement in awarding her attorney fees under the Song-Beverly Act, the court cannot issue an award based entirely on the law firm’s percentage share of civil penalties or other “excess” monetary recovery, rather than using the lodestar figure.

Hannah v. Mercedes-Benz USA; Second District, Div. Seven; filed June 18, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2847


Criminal Law and Procedure

A wrongful arrest, standing alone, does not provide a basis for conviction under Penal Code §149; the statute punishes uses of force that exceed what is reasonably required for the accomplishment of a recognized, lawful purpose.

People v. Perry; Fifth District; filed June 18, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2854


Criminal Law and Procedure

Senate Bill No. 1391 is not void as an unconstitutional amendment to Welfare and Institutions Code §707 as modified by the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016.

People v. Superior Court (K.L.); Third District; filed June 19, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2865


Criminal Law and Procedure

A trial court did not lose jurisdiction over a bond pursuant to Penal Code §1305(b) when the trial court in open court forfeited a bail bond but reinstated it five minutes later and did not send a notice of forfeiture to the surety.

People v. Bankers Insurance Company; Sixth District; filed June 19, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2870


Employment Law

A trial court’s use of its power of remittitur to reduce excessive damages was not an abuse of discretion where the court found aspects of the jury’s award for past noneconomic damages against a public employer to be improperly punitive.

Pearl v. City of Los Angeles; Second District, Div. Seven; filed June 18, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2876


Family Law

The Elder Abuse Act permits an elder to seek a restraining order to protect not only himself, but also named members of his family. Substantial evidence supported a grant of a restraining order where an elder testified credibly to his mental anguish and emotional distress caused by a defendant.

Tanguillig v. Valdez; First District, Div. Two; filed May 20, 2019, publication ordered June 18, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2883


Superior Court Appellate Division

Employment Law

Labor Code §98.2(b) states that an undertaking posted by an employer shall be forfeited to the employee if the employer fails to pay the amount owed within 10 days of the entry of a judgment, dismissal, or withdrawal of the appeal; §98.2(b) does not distinguish between the type of dismissal of the appeal.

Chavez v. Sarumi; Superior Court of California, County of Humboldt; filed December 24, 2018


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2889