Two Capital Murder Convictions Upheld, Plus Tort and Employment Matters

By FindLaw Staff on July 09, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Roden v. Amerisourcebergen Corp., G041990,concerned a dispute concerning plaintiff-former CEO's entitlements arising out of his employment termination. In reversing in part and remanding, the court held that the portion of the trial court's order overturning the review official's award and awarding plaintiff a $14,432,141.74 change in control benefit was improper as the review official properly followed actuarial principles, methods and assumptions found to be appropriate by the plan actuary.

The court affirmed portion of the judgment in holding that trial court was correct in affirming the decision of the review official to the effect the plaintiff is not, at this time, entitled to any payment with respect to potential excise tax liability, and that the trial court was correct in affirming the decision of the review official as to the application of prejudgment interest at the federal bank discount rate.  Court also held that the trial court did not err in applying the state statutory postjudgment interest rate, and in applying postjudgment interest from the date of the order that is subject of this fourth appeal, and that the trial court did not err in providing that payments made pursuant to the order are to be applied first to interest and then to principal.  Lastly, the court held that the trial court did not err in declining to award plaintiff attorney fees and costs as the court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that neither party was the prevailing party at trial.

Litwin v. Estate of Robert Formela, C061084, concerned a challenge to the judgment of dismissal following the sustaining of a demurrer by defendant-estate in plaintiff's personal injury action arising from an automobile accident.  In affirming the dismissal, the court held that the trial court properly entered a judgment of dismissal in favor of the defendant because the action was barred by the statute of limitations and section 351's tolling does not apply.

People v. Tate, S031641, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for robbery and burglary-murder of his grandmother's neighbor and a sentence of death on automatic appeal.  The California Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and the death sentence over claims involving: jury selection issues; suppression issues; prosecutorial misconduct; jury instruction issues; and challenge to the California death penalty law and instructions.

In re Valdez, S107508, concerned a defendant's petition for habeas relief for his murder conviction and a sentence of death.  In denying the petition and discharging the order to show cause why relief should not be granted on the ground that trial court counsel rendered ineffective assistance of counsel, the court held that the referee's findings are adopted as to findings that counsel's decision not to introduce the test results of the blood on the pants was a tactical decision, as well as findings regarding evidence relating to third party culpability and mitigating evidence.

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