“Trust Transfer Deed” Fails to Accomplish Transmutation

  A “Trust Transfer Deed” that purportedly granted husband’s interest in real property to wife failed to accomplish a transmutation.

  Pursuant to Family Code section 852(a) a transmutation is not valid unless made in writing by an express declaration by the party adversely affected. To satisfy the “express declaration” requirement the writing must state on its face that the characterization or ownership of the property is being changed. Extrinsic evidence is not permitted to prove an ambiguous writing. Therefore, the express declaration must unambiguously indicate a change in character or ownership of property for a valid transmutation. Continue reading

Hospital’s Failure to Maintain Equipment May Constitute Professional Negligence

  The California Supreme Court holds that where a plaintiff’s injury results from alleged negligence in the use and maintenance of equipment needed to implement a physician’s order concerning plaintiff’s medical treatment, the claim sounds in professional, rather than ordinary, negligence. The special statute of limitations period “for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence” is applicable.

  Generally, a personal injury action generally must be filed within two years of the date on which the challenged act or omission occurred. [Code Civ. Proc., § 335.1.] However, unlike most personal injury actions, professional negligence actions against health care providers must be brought within “three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first.” [Code Civ. Proc., § 340.5.]

  The facts of any particular case for personal injury against a health care provider will determine whether the statute of limitations is lengthened, or shortened, by this holding. The case is Flores v. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital.

How to Count Days: California Courts

  Code of Civil Procedure sections 12-12c tell you how to count days. The first step is to determine if the days are calendar or court days–a distinction with a difference. The next step is to count either forward, or backward, the correct number of days. The third step is to add days, as required, due to the specific manner of service. The following rules apply: Continue reading

Emotional Distress Damages Available For Intentional Injury to Pet Dog

  An award to plaintiffs of emotional distress damages for the intentionally injury to plaintiff’s pet dog Romeo by striking it with a baseball bat was recently upheld on appeal. Continue reading

Two Telephone Calls


   Yesterday I took two telephone calls which illustrate how not to get competent legal help. The first caller wanted to be on a “first name” basis, only. The second caller was looking for a paralegal service to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy on behalf of a corporation.

   Hint: You do yourself a disservice when you demand anonymous telephonic advice, do not know who you are calling, or pre-determine the help you need. On most days, I would have spent the time to coax these callers into giving me the information I needed to determine if I could help them. Yesterday was not one of those days.

In Danger of Foreclosure? Do Not Wait Until It’s Too Late

  I have previously posted about the difficulty foreclosed homeowners face when pursuing claims for alleged wrongful foreclosure. Increasingly, foreclosed homeowners are finding the courthouse doors closed. Claims and causes of action that at one time seemed viable, due to the lack of guidance from California’s appellate courts, no longer get past an initial demurrer. Continue reading

UCLA Law Alumni Appointed to Ninth Circuit

    Dean Rachel F. Moran reports in an email to alumni: Two members of the UCLA Law community, Jacqueline H. Nguyen ’91 and Paul J. Watford ’94, recently were appointed to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the nation’s largest federal appeals court. The full text is here.