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Name: People v. Angulo
Case #: E034875
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 05/11/2005

Appellant was committed to a secured facility after a jury found him to be a sexually violent predator (SVP). Before trial, he requested that the court appoint one or more mental health care professionals to assist in his defense, and moved that any psych evaluations performed be kept confidential. The court appointed an expert, but denied the request for confidentiality. On appeal, appellant contended that the refusal to appoint psychologists whose reports would be kept confidential denied his right to assistance of counsel, to present a defense, and to a fair trial. He also contended that…

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Name: People v. Urbano
Case #: F044381
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 04/11/2005

The court did not err in admitting at trial evidence of a defendant's gesture and comment to his attorney during his preliminary hearing, because the communications were not protected by the attorney-client privilege. In each challenged instance the defendant's voice had been loud enough for spectators to overhear. Noting the limited scope of review and the fact that the trial court had excluded other communications that it had deemed to have been legitimate attorney-client communications, the appellate court found no error. The court next considered several Blakely issues, after first determining that the issues were reviewable absent…

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Name: In re Christopher M.
Case #: D044090
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 03/17/2005

The minor was found to be a ward of the court pursuant to a petition which charged him with a robbery which was found to be a hate crime. The juvenile court placed him on probation with conditions including one which required disclosure of his psychiatric and medical records pertaining to his treatment. On appeal, the minor argued that the condition was unnecessary and overbroad, and violated his constitutional right to privacy. The appellate court rejected the argument. The probation condition were reasonable and tailored to fit the minor's needs. Both the nature of the…

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Name: Garcia v. Superior Court
Case #: G032739
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 07/27/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 9/22/04: S127432

A criminal defendant may request police personnel records by filing a declaration under seal. Noting that nothing in the statutes outlining the procedure under Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531 prohibits the filing of supporting declarations under seal, the Court of Appeal looked to other third-party discovery procedures for guidance. The court held that the party who submits the sealed declaration in connection with a Pitchess motion must provide timely notice to the third party, specifically claiming attorney-client or other privilege or immunity. The trial court must then review the sealed declaration in camera with…

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Name: Murdoch v. Castro
Case #: 02-55650
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/05/2004

A ruling which barred the defendant from seeing or using a purportedly exculpatory letter written by a witness to the witness’s attorney may have denied the defendant his constitutional right to confront witnesses. In this federal habeas proceeding, the district court had applied California’s attorney-client privilege rule to prevent the defendant or his counsel from reviewing a letter in which an accomplice who testified against defendant at trial allegedly told his attorney that defendant was not guilty of the offense. The Ninth Circuit held that where the confrontation clause and the attorney-client privilege are squarely at odds, evidentiary…

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Name: Story v. Superior Court
Case #: H024993
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 06/12/2003
Subsequent History: None

Story sought extraordinary relief from an order denying his motion to quash the prosecutor’s subpoena and allowing release of his psychotherapy records. His petition raised an issue of first impression in the area of prosecutorial discovery: whether records of psychotherapy which was ordered as a condition of probation are protected from disclosure in a subsequent criminal proceeding where the prosecutor seeks their admission as evidence of a previous sex offense, under Evidence Code section 1108. Story argued that the records were subject to the psychotherapist-patient privilege, and the appellate court here agreed and issued a writ of mandate.…

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Name: Bittaker v. Woodford
Case #: 02-99000
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 06/06/2003
Subsequent History: None

In a habeas corpus proceeding claiming ineffective assistance of counsel, the petitioner waives the attorney-client privilege only in the habeas litigation. The waiver is not for all time and does not extend to the possible retrial of petitioner if the habeas proceeding is successful. Thus, the federal district court properly entered a protective order precluding the use of the privileged materials for any purpose other that the habeas litigation, and barring the Attorney General from turning them over to anyone else, including law enforcement…

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Name: People v. One Ruger .22 Caliber Pistol
Case #: B136093
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/24/2000
Subsequent History: Petn. rehg. den. 11/14/00; Petn. rev. den. 1/10/01

The testimony of the firearm owner's psychotherapist at a weapons forfeiture hearing did not violate the psychotherapist privilege. The testimony was necessary to avert dangers to others (citing Tarasoff v. Board of Regents of the University of California (1976) 17 Cal.3d 425,…

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Name: People v. Sinohui
Case #: S094039
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/13/2002
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 8/14/02

Defendant’s wife was not prevented from testifying by the marital privilege, because the exception applied in which her husband was charged with a crime against a third person, committed in the course of committing a crime against her (Evid. Code, sec. 972, subd.(e)(2)). It was not required that the defendant be charged with a crime against the spouse. The statutory exception applied if the crimes against the third person and the spouse were part of a continuous course of criminal conduct, and had some logical relationship to each other. Here, the wife was present in a…

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Name: People ex rel. Lockyer Superior Court (Pfingst)
Case #: D035689
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 08/29/2000
Subsequent History: None

In this investigation of San Diego District Attorney Loganbach conducted before any charges were filed against him, the Court of Appeal held that Loganbach had no legitimate expectation of privacy with respect to his actions as a public servant, and has no standing to claim any privileges or work product protection in any materials he generated as a deputy district attorney. He is also not entitled to claim work product protection based on self-representation in this case. He is not entitled to the protections of special master proceedings provided for in Penal Code section 1524, subdivision (c). …

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