eBriefs May 21, 2019

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019


U.S. Supreme Court

Bankruptcy Law

A license holder presents a plausible claim for money damages arising from its inability to use a bankruptcy debtor’s trademarks pursuant to a contract that the debtor sought to reject. A debtor’s rejection of an executory contract under Bankruotcy Code §365 has the same effect as a breach of that contract outside bankruptcy and such an act cannot rescind rights that the contract previously granted.

Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC; filed May 20, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-1657


Consumer Protection

A state-law failure-to-warn claim is pre-empted where there is “clear evidence” that the Food and Drug Administration would not have approved a change in a mediation label; “clear evidence” is evidence that shows the court that the drug manufacturer fully informed the FDA of the justifications for the warning required by state law and that the FDA, in turn, informed the drug manufacturer that the FDA would not approve a change to the drug’s label to include that warning. The question of agency disapproval is primarily one of law for a judge to decide.

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation v. Albrecht; filed May 20, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-290_


Indian Law

The Crow Tribe’s hunting rights under an 1868 treaty with the U.S, granting hunting rights on unoccupied lands, did not expire upon Wyoming’s statehood; the crucial inquiry for treaty termination analysis is whether Congress has clearly expressed an intent to abrogate an Indian treaty right or whether a termination point identified in the treaty itself has been satisfied; Bighorn National Forest did not become categorically “occupied” within the meaning of the 1868 treaty when the national forest was created.

Herrera v. Wyoming; filed May 20, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 17-532


Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Immigration Law

Parole into the United States under 8 U.S.C. §1182(d)(5) is not an “admission in any status” for purposes of meeting the residency requirement for cancellation of removal.

Alanniz v. Barr; filed May 20, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 15-72792



Murray v. BEJ Minerals, LLC; filed May 20, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 16-35506


California Court of Appeal

Administrative Law

Government Code §20636(g)(3)(B) defines special compensation to include “[c]ompensation for performing normally required duties,” and then lists examples; bonuses “for duties performed on regular work shift” are included under §20636(g)(3)(B), but not bonuses for “additional services outside regular duty”; a bonus earned for purely voluntary services performed outside of an employee’s duties is not special compensation, regardless of the time frame in which it was earned.

Paxton v. Board of Administration, California Public Employees’ Retirement System; Third District; filed April 23, 2019, publication ordered May 20, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2371


Criminal Law and Procedure

A trial court did not commit an abuse of discretion in admitting evidence that a defendant received and viewed a Snapchat story referring to a “Glock 17 with a 50 attached” since that evidence was relevant to show the defendant knew he had received a 50-round drum magazine one day later. A statement by a defendant’s relative, in which the relative claimed ownership of a gun that had been found in the relative’s car while the defendant was riding as a passenger, was admissible as a declaration against his penal interests; the statement was not untrustworthy since there was enough evidence to demonstrate the relative’s possession of the gun that a jury had convicted him of possession. Evidence of a defendant’s prior gun possession should not have been admitted where it was not possible to infer that the prior experience, involving unloaded weapons in the defendant’s own car, would have provided him with any knowledge about a firearm with a loaded 50 round magazine in his cousin’s car.

People v. Reyes; First District, Div. Two; filed May 17, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2375


Criminal Law and Procedure

A petition for writ of mandate was not the proper vehicle for a defendant to seek to have his conviction vacated where he pled guilty before a magistrate judge, but the judge had become a superior court judge by the time judgment was pronounced; a superior court judge cannot mandate another superior court judge to vacate a judgment because the superior court judge who pronounced judgment is not an inferior tribunal.

Molina v. Superior Court (People); Fourth District, Div. Three; filed May 17, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2381


Education Law

A school district cannot avoid its responsibility to provide special education and related services to an eligible student to fund the placement of a child with severe disabilities in a residential treatment center, where that placement was necessary to enable the child to access a meaningful educational benefit, because the child’s adoptive parents happened also to have funding available for that residential placement through a noneducational governmental agency program.

B.H. v. Manhattan Beach School District; Second District, Div. Four; filed May 20, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2384


Employment Law

Government Code §19584 does not allow an employee to recover damages for his increased tax liability for having received a lump sum back pay award.

Barber v, State Personnel Board (Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation); Fourth District, Div. Two; filed May 17, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2393



People v. Carter; Fourth District, Div. One; filed May 17, 2019


Cite as 2019 S.O.S. 2404