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Education

[06/28] Window Rock Unified School District v. Nez
Reversing the district court's decision enjoining tribal forum proceedings in employment-related claims against two Arizona public school districts operating schools on tribal lands, remanding the case with instructions to dissolve the injunction and dismiss the cases for failure to exhaust.

[06/27] Hardie v. NCAA
In an action by an African American seeking to establish disparate-impact discrimination in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)'s policy of excluding anyone with a felony conviction from coaching at NCAA-certified youth athletic tournaments, the district court's summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where even if disparate-impact claims were recognizable under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, plaintiff had not shown that an equally effective, less discriminatory alternative theory to the NCAA's felon-exclusion policy existed, as was required under the three-step analysis for disparate-impact claims set forth in Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio, 490 U.S. 642 (1989).

[06/08] Johnson v. Perry
In a suit against a principal-defendant of a private high school brought by a student's parent-plainitff, alleging that plaintiff's First Amendment right of freedom of assembly and his state-law right to be free from the intentional infliction of emotional distress were violated by defendant in banning him from attending virtually all school events, on or off school property, because of his opposition to defendant's bullying and harassing efforts to compel plaintiff's daughter to remain a member of the girls varsity basketball team, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed in part as to the denial of defendant's motion for qualified immunity, to the extent that he barred plaintiff from entering school property to attend spectator sports contests to which the public was invited, and caused plaintiff's removal from a non-school, privately owned stadium at which Johnson was present as an invitee of the owner; and 2) reversed in part where qualified immunity should have been granted to defendant the extent that he barred plaintiff from entering school property for purposes other than attending sports contests, given the lack of an established First Amendment right of general access to school property.

[05/31] Cal. Taxpayers Action Network v. Taber Construction
In a reverse validation action under Code Civ. Proc. section 863 challenging the propriety of school districts' use of lease-leaseback agreements in contracting for construction or improvement of school facilities, the trial court's judgment sustaining defendants' demurrer is: 1) reversed in part as to the conflict of interest claim where plaintiff has stated a claim of conflict of interest against the construction company-defendant sufficient to withstand a demurrer; but 2) otherwise affirmed.

[05/31] Ogunsalu v. Super. Ct.
In a case involving the temporary suspension of petitioner's teaching credential by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the court holds: 1) the vexatious litigant prefiling requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 391.7 apply to a self-represented litigant, previously declared a vexatious litigant, who filed a writ of mandate proceeding in the superior court to challenge the denial of his request to continue an administrative proceeding where the vexatious litigant was the respondent in the administrative proceeding; and thus 2) the trial court correctly subjected the vexatious litigant to the prefiling requirements of section 391.7. However, the petition is dismissed as moot because subsequent events have rendered effective relief impossible.

[05/30] Montany v. University of New England
In a suit brought by an occupational-therapy student against the school for injuries she sustained during a practical exam, in which program instructors act as mock patients and students are tested on their ability to properly manage a patient in need of occupational therapy, alleging negligence and breach of contract claims, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where there is no reversible error.

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Family Law

[07/10] Hamilton v. Bromley
Affirming the dismissal of the case of a father seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from an alleged conspiracy to deprive him of contact with his son, which the District Court dismissed because the father had custody of his son subject to pending state court proceedings and felt that this could render the case moot and dismissed. Although they erred in dismissing before resolving the question of mootness, the Court of Appeals found that the plaintiff's custody of their son did cause the case to become moot and affirmed the dismissal on that basis.

[06/27] Allen v. DeBello
Fathers of minor children in New Jersey challenged the 'best interests of the child' standard used by NJ courts to determine custody in a dispute between two fit parents as unconstitutional, but the court held that the judges they sued were not proper parties to the action and the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to hear the claim.

[06/27] First Resort, Inc. v. Herrera
In a constitutional challenge to an ordinance designed to protect indigent women facing unexpected pregnancies from the harms posed by false or misleading advertising by limited services pregnancy centers (LSPC), the district court's ruling that San Francisco's Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance was constitutional and not preempted by state law is affirmed where: 1) the Ordinance is facially valid because it regulates only unprotected false or misleading commercial speech -- a category of speech afforded no constitutional protection; and 2) the Ordinance is not unconstitutionally vague.

[06/26] Pavan v. Smith
In a case relating to same-sex marriage, Arkansas state officials refused to issue birth certificates listing the spouse when a mother in a same-sex marriage gives birth, but the court held that the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. S. ___ (2015) proscribes this differential treatment.

[06/16] In re A.G.
In a Father's appeals from a 12-month review hearing at which the juvenile court returned his children to their mother's care, Welf. & Inst. Code section 366.21(f), the court orders are reversed where the court erred when it found that he had been offered or provided reasonable services.

[06/13] Webb v. Webb
In a dissolution of marriage appeal, the trial court's judgment granting attorney fees is reversed where Family Code section 271 does not authorize the court to award sanctions to non-parties, but rather is intended to promote settlement of family law litigation through shifting fees between the parties to the litigation.

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Family Law

[07/10] Hamilton v. Bromley
Affirming the dismissal of the case of a father seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from an alleged conspiracy to deprive him of contact with his son, which the District Court dismissed because the father had custody of his son subject to pending state court proceedings and felt that this could render the case moot and dismissed. Although they erred in dismissing before resolving the question of mootness, the Court of Appeals found that the plaintiff's custody of their son did cause the case to become moot and affirmed the dismissal on that basis.

[06/27] Allen v. DeBello
Fathers of minor children in New Jersey challenged the 'best interests of the child' standard used by NJ courts to determine custody in a dispute between two fit parents as unconstitutional, but the court held that the judges they sued were not proper parties to the action and the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to hear the claim.

[06/27] First Resort, Inc. v. Herrera
In a constitutional challenge to an ordinance designed to protect indigent women facing unexpected pregnancies from the harms posed by false or misleading advertising by limited services pregnancy centers (LSPC), the district court's ruling that San Francisco's Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance was constitutional and not preempted by state law is affirmed where: 1) the Ordinance is facially valid because it regulates only unprotected false or misleading commercial speech -- a category of speech afforded no constitutional protection; and 2) the Ordinance is not unconstitutionally vague.

[06/26] Pavan v. Smith
In a case relating to same-sex marriage, Arkansas state officials refused to issue birth certificates listing the spouse when a mother in a same-sex marriage gives birth, but the court held that the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. S. ___ (2015) proscribes this differential treatment.

[06/16] In re A.G.
In a Father's appeals from a 12-month review hearing at which the juvenile court returned his children to their mother's care, Welf. & Inst. Code section 366.21(f), the court orders are reversed where the court erred when it found that he had been offered or provided reasonable services.

[06/13] Webb v. Webb
In a dissolution of marriage appeal, the trial court's judgment granting attorney fees is reversed where Family Code section 271 does not authorize the court to award sanctions to non-parties, but rather is intended to promote settlement of family law litigation through shifting fees between the parties to the litigation.

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Probate Trusts

[07/14] Lazar v. Charles Schwab Co. Inc.
Affirming the plaintiff's standing to bring a constitutional challenge under the Contracts Clause in the case of a divorced individual's attempts to claim the retirement fund of their ex following his death but affirming the claim's dismissal, application of Arizona's revocation-on-divorce statute, the holding that this statute was not preempted, the dismissal of a Contracts Clause challenge, and the transfer of the case to Arizona.

[06/30] Irvin v. Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Ass'n
Reversing the trial court's affirmation of the Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association Board of Retirement's denial of surviving spouse benefits because the entry of a judgment of legal separation did not terminate a marriage and the term

[06/01] Raymond Loubier Irrevocable Trust v. Noella Loubier
In an inheritance dispute pertaining to the assets of the deceased, as conveyed to various revocable and irrevocable trusts in the deceased's name and that of his wife, the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction is vacated and remanded where, because the plaintiff trusts are traditional common law fiduciary agreements, and, further, because they are not separate juridical entities under the relevant state law of Florida, the citizenship of their trustees controls a diversity determination.

[05/09] Higgins v. Higgins
In a trust case in which a wife agreed to hold funds in trust for her husband's elderly stepmother, and after her husband's death, the wife changed the form of the accounts and used the funds for her own purpose, the trial court's judgment in favor of wife-defendant under Code of Civil Procedure section 631.8 is reversed where, despite the form of the bank accounts, when clear and convincing evidence shows funds were transferred to an account owner to hold in an irrevocable trust for a third party beneficiary and the trustee repudiates the trust, a constructive trust may be imposed on the funds for the beneficiary's estate to prevent unjust enrichment.

[05/08] US v. Cardaci
In an action involving the Government's attempts to collect unpaid taxes assessed against a homeowner, seeking a judicial sale of the home, the district court's judgment, that a forced sale would be inequitable and order that the homeowner make monthly rent payments to the Government instead, is: 1) affirmed as to the district court?s authority to consider whether the property should be subject to a forced sale; but 2) vacated and remanded for recalculation of the ownership interests in the property and reconsideration of the equitable factors weighing for and against a sale.

[04/20] Bresler v. Wilmington Trust Co.
In a breach of contract action brought by personal representatives of an estate, the district court's judgment that trustee-defendant breached an agreement to lend money for the acquisition, maintenance, and certain investments relating to life insurance policies obtained for plaintiffs, is affirmed over defendant's arguments that the district court erred in admitting testimony from the plaintiffs' expert witness, the jury verdict including the award of damages was not supported by the evidence, and additional terms of the district court's order also were not supported by the evidence.

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