Order to Pay RIAA Restitution for Defendants' Counterfeit CD Sales Vacated, Plus Insurance, Attorney's Fees, Arbitration & Family Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on October 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

People v. Valdez, G042837, concerned a challenge to the trial court's conviction of defendant for being an unlicensed driver and fleeing the scene of an injury accident, and the jury's finding that defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury in the commission of a felony.  In reversing in part and remanding, the court held that, because the defendant in this case was not committing or attempting to commit a felony at the time of the accident, the injury suffered during the accident was not inflicted in the course of the commission of a felony or attempted felony within the meaning of Penal Code section 12022.7.


People v. Kelly, E048797, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order requiring defendants to pay $14,606.66 in restitution to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in a prosecution of defendants for their involvement in connection with selling counterfeit compact discs.  In vacating, the court held that the RIAA is not a direct victim because it was not the object of defendants' crimes and it cannot claim lost profits or other losses caused by defendants' crimes, and thus, under the circumstances of this case, the trial court erred by relying on the Ortiz court for the proposition that RIAA can "stand in the shoes" of its members, who are not identified or known, and may obtain restitution when the specific damage to the anonymous members has not been established.

Leonard Carder, LLP v. Patten, Faith & Sanford., B221940, involved a plaintiff-law firm's suit seeking declaratory relief against defendant-law firm regarding distribution of attorney fees awarded in a stipulated judgment in a class action lawsuit.  In reversing the trial court's entry of judgment denying all relief to plaintiff, the court held that the complaint did articulate a justiciable case or controversy.  Further, the class action court specifically declined to retain exclusive jurisdiction over the distribution of attorney fees.  Lastly, the trial court's entry of judgment against plaintiff without transfer to the class action court was an abuse of discretion.

In re Jonah D., B222549, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order terminating petitioner's parental rights to her son pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 366.26.  In affirming, the court held that, contrary to petitioner's claim that notice was inadequate under the Indian Child Welfare Act, the information provided by the child's grandmother was too vague, attenuated and speculative to give the dependency court any reason to believe the minors might be Indian children.

Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd., B215486, concerned a challenge to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's denial of defendant employer and its insurer's request to be dismissed, in an injured employee's claim for workers' compensation benefits for sustaining injuries while working as a film production supervisor.  In affirming, the court held that the two employers are jointly and severally liable employers to employees like  the injured individual for workers' compensation, and the liability of the defendant-employer and its insurer is not extinguished by compliance with section 3602(d).  Further, coverage under the defendant-insurer policy is clear and unlimited without the statutory exclusion for employees like the individual in this case, and the policy provisions control.

Benjamin, Weill & Mazer v. Kors, A125732, concerned a challenge to the trial court's order granting a law firm's petition to confirm an arbitration award and denying defendant's petition to vacate the award, arising from the law firm's prior representation of defendant in a lawsuit.  In reversing, the court held that an arbitrator's failure to disclose facts as required by section 1281.9 warrants vacatur of the award, and here, upon his appointment the arbiter had a duty to timely disclose to the parties the nature of his legal practice, including the fact that he was then representing a law firm engaged in a fee dispute with a former client.

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