What Is Collateral Estoppel and When Does It Apply?

Did your attorney or a judge comment that collateral estoppel may bar or preempt the judge from reconsidering something? What is collateral estoppel anyways? Why would it apply to a certain issue? What prevents application of collateral estoppel? How does it differ from res judicata? To read more about collateral estoppel, please click on the following link.



National Trial Lawyers Top 100

Under P.C. § 288.3, Must the Victim Truly Be a Minor?

The answer to the rhetorical question posed in the title to this post involving contacting a minor with knowledge and intent to commit a sexual offense is no, as exemplified by the recent reported ruling by the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal in San Diego. In People v. Robert Anthony Korwin, a police officer responded to Korwin’s classified ad and posed as a thirteen-year-old female. Korwin believed “she” was 13 and attempted to arrange a meeting with her, with the intent of having sex with “her.” He was arrested, charged and convicted of violating Penal Code § 288.3 and later appealed his conviction on grounds that he could not have violated 288.3 because the officer was over 18. To read how the appellate court explained this was a losing argument, please click on the following link.




What Is a Cruz Waiver for Sentencing at a Later Date?

If the judge allows one to cruise out of court after one’s plea, but before being sentencing, that judge will usually require defendant to agree to a Cruz waiver. This waiver may be entered into to allow defendant time to “get his affairs in order,” i.e. arrange for powers of attorney to allow a friend or spouse to access bank accounts to pay bills, manage property, and / or to move out of an apartment to put one’s property in storage for a few months or years. What happens if defendant does not show up for court later? To read about this and more about a Cruz waiver, please click on the following link.




Can a Car Key Be a Deadly Weapon under PC § 245(a)(1)?

The short answer to the rhetorical question posed above is yes. This ruling, by the Fourth Appellate District Court in Riverside, must be considered under the factual circumstances in which defendant swung a key toward another person with the obvious intent to help him escape capture. He put the keys in his fist with the sharp end pointing out through his fingers, almost like brass knuckles. To read more about this case and the reasoning that it critical to the holding, please click on the following link.



What Is Required and Involved in a 977(b) Appearance?

There is an exception under Penal Code § 977(b) to the general requirement that defendant must appear in court at all hearings in a felony case. Section 977(b) permits a judge to allow defendant’s counsel to appear on behalf of defendant if defendant enters into an oral or written waiver in court of his or her appearance and agrees that counsel can appear on his behalf in the future. The requirement that the waiver be entered to in court, before a judge, is most often considered critical to a valid waiver, but our office has been successful in having a judge allow 977(b) appearances without a waiver entered into in court. To read more about this, please click on the following link.


10 Best 2015 Client Sat 10 Best Law Firms 2

What Is Needed for a Successful Petition under SB 1437?

If someone is serving a prison sentence for murder under the old felony murder rule, but as an aider and abettor (not the principal), one may be able to seek resentencing when the killing was accidental, unintentional and unforeseen. Such resentencing would allow for a shorter sentence, possibly even allowing the person’s immediate release from prison, depending upon how much time has already been served. To read more about such resentencing, please click on the following link.


10 Best 2015 Client Sat

Stores Now Have Their Own Shoplifting Prevention Classes?

What should one do if a store like Walmart or Target stops a person for shoplifting and then offers to stop litigation against the person if he or she takes a shoplifting prevention course? Our advice is not to take the course because neither Walmart nor Target can prosecute someone anyways. Only a City Attorney, City Prosecutor or District Attorney can do so, so why pay for something the store really cannot promise? However, for peace of mind, it may be worth the $500 or so and may, in states outside California, it may have more benefits. To read more about such classes, click on the following link.


10 Best 2015-2016 2 Years Client Sat