Legal News

Case Summaries

Legal Malpractice

[09/26] Satterfield v. District Attorney Philadelphia
Vacating the district court's denial of untimely relief sought from a judgment denying the habeas petition of a man convicted of criminal charges whose prior claims involving ineffective assistance of counsel were impacted by new Supreme Court law because changes in law under certain circumstances justify relief and the court must articulate its reasonable analysis, weighing the law against pertinent equitable factors.

[09/20] Browning v. Baker
Reversing the district court's denial of habeas corpus to a petitioner challenging his conviction for crimes involving the robbery and murder of a man in a Las Vegas jewelry store that resulted in the death penalty because a combination of prosecutorial misconduct and woefully inadequate assistance of counsel produced an extreme malfunction in the state criminal justice system.

[09/05] P. v. Washington
Affirming a murder conviction because defense counsel's failure to seek a separate proceeding from codefendants was not ineffective assistance of counsel where the codefendant's admitted jailhouse confessions were non-testimonial and did not violate the Aranda/Bruton doctrine.

[06/26] Davila v. Davis
In a case involving a capital punishment trial and subsequent appeal where the convicted alleged the ineffective assistance of appeal counsel in failing to raise the issue of a jury instruction to which trial counsel had properly objected, the court held that the ineffective assistance of post-conviction counsel does not provide cause to excuse the procedural default of ineffective-assistance-of-appellate-counsel claims.

[06/22] Weaver v. Massachusetts
In a murder case where a courtroom could not accommodate all the potential jurors, members of the public were excluded from the courtroom, including the petitioner's mother and minister, the petitioner argued ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to object to the courtroom closure. Although the court found that the violation of the right to a public trial was a structural error, the decision was affirmed since the issue wasn't raised on direct review and the court found that the error was not prejudicial and therefore did not entitle the petitioner to a new trial.

[06/21] Tucker Ellis v. Evan Nelson
In a writ proceeding to determine whether attorney work conduct privilege attaches to documents created by an attorney employee during their employment with an employer law firm, the lower court's judgment is vacated where the privilege attaches to the firm, rather than the employee.

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Labor & Employment Law

[10/17] Borzilleri v. Mosby
In a constitutional action arising out of the newly elected Baltimore City State's Attorney's firing of an Assistant State's Attorney who supported a political opponent in the recent election, the district court's dismissal under F.R.C.P. 12(b)(6) is affirmed where the plaintiff was a policymaker exempt from First Amendment protection against patronage dismissals.

[10/17] Melendez v. San Francisco Baseball Assoc.
In a wage and hour dispute between a security guard and his employer, the San Francisco Giants, the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration is reversed where: 1) arbitration is not compelled by the collective bargaining agreement; but 2) is required under the Labor Relations Management Act, 29 U.S.C. section 185(a).

[10/17] Beneli v. NLRB
In a labor action, the NLRB's decision to make its new standard for deferring to an arbitration decision prospective only, and not apply it retroactively to petitioner's case, is affirmed where the decision conforms with the relevant analysis under Oil, Chem, & Atomic Workers Int'l Union Local 1-547 v. NLRB, 842 F.2d 1141 (9th Cir. 1988).

[10/16] Quality Health Services of P.R., Inc. v. NLRB
In a labor case concerning a dispute between a hospital and its union over the subcontracting of its respiratory therapy technicians, the NLRB's order in favor of the union is affirmed where: 1) the court lacks jurisdiction to consider the hospital's claim on the validity of the NLRB's decision, since it wasn't raised before the Board; and 2) the Board's determinations are supported by substantial evidence.

[10/13] U.S. Dept. of Labor v. Am. Future Systems, Inc.
In a labor law action, arising from defendant's failure to pay its workers for short rest breaks, the court held that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for all rest breaks of twenty minutes or less.

[10/11] Flores v. City of Westminster
A mixed decision that partially affirmed, vacated, and remanded aspects of the trial, judgment, and resulting awards of fees and costs was issued in the case of three Latino police officers who won a jury trial in which they alleged that the City of Westminster and former police chiefs discriminated and retaliated against them on the basis of race and national origin.

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