November 2022 Update
The current update includes changes throughout this publication that reflect recent developments in case law, legislation, court rules, and administrative procedures. Summarized below are some of the more important developments included in this update since publication of the 2020 update.
Mediation agreements. Effective January 1, 2021, under CCP §664.6(b), a writing is signed by a party if it is signed by the party, an attorney who represents the party, or if the party is an insurer, an agent who is authorized in writing by the insurer to sign on the insurer’s behalf. See §2.21.
Deposition by remote means. Effective September 18, 2020, at the election of the deponent or the deposing party, the deposition officer may attend the deposition at a different location than the deponent via remote means. A deponent is not required to be physically present with the deposition officer when being sworn in at the time of the deposition. See CCP §2025.310(a). Subject to CCP §2025.420, any party or attorney of record may, but is not required to, be physically present at the deposition at the location of the deponent. CCP §2025.310(b). See §4.22.
Telephone appearances. From January 1, 2022, to July 14, 2023, Cal Rules of Ct 3.670(c)–(i) are suspended and during that time the provisions in Cal Rules of Ct 3.672 apply in their place. See §§5.80–5.82.
Felony sentencing. Effective January 1, 2022, under Pen C §1170(b)(2), the trial court may impose a sentence exceeding the middle term only when there are circumstances in aggravation of the crime that justify the imposition of a term of imprisonment exceeding the middle term, and the facts underlying those circumstances have been stipulated to by the defendant, or have been found true beyond a reasonable doubt at trial by the jury or by the judge in a court trial. See §6.57.
Claims against public entities. Effective January 1, 2021, under Govt C §915(a), a claim, amendment to a claim, or an application for leave to present a late claim may be presented to a local public entity by submitting it electronically to the public entity, if expressly authorized by an ordinance or resolution of the public entity, in the manner specified in the ordinance or resolution. See §7.13.
Decedent causes of action. Effective January 1, 2022, under CCP §377.34(b), in an action or proceeding by a decedent’s personal representative or successor in interest on the decedent’s cause of action, the damages recoverable may include damages for pain, suffering, or disfigurement if the action or proceeding was granted a specified preference before January 1, 2022, or was filed on or after January 1, 2022, and before January 1, 2026. See §7.15.
Employees and independent contractors. For a recent case discussing how Dynamex Operations W., Inc. v Superior Court (2018) 4 C5th 903 applies retroactively to all nonfinal cases, see Vazquez v Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc. (2021) 10 C5th 944 in §9.4.
Administrative remedies. Effective June 30, 2022, under Stats 2022, ch 48 (SB 189), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is now the California Civil Rights Department. See chap 9.
Ralph Civil Rights Act. Effective January 1, 2021, under CC §51.7(b)(1), “intimidation by threat of violence” includes, but is not limited to, making or threatening to make a claim or report to a peace officer or law enforcement agency that falsely alleges that another person has engaged in unlawful activity or in an activity that requires law enforcement intervention, knowing that the claim or report is false, or with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the claim or report. See §9.14.
Termination of tenancy. Effective January 1, 2021, under CC §1946.7(a), a tenant may notify the landlord that the tenant intends to terminate the tenancy if the tenant, a household member, or an immediate family member was the victim of an act that constitutes a crime that caused bodily injury or death; a crime that included the exhibition, drawing, brandishing, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon or instrument; or a crime that included the use of force against the victim or a threat of force against the victim. See §11.67.
Arbitration. For a recent case discussing how a provision in the California Association of Realtors®’ standard form purchase agreement that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) shall govern enforcement of the agreement constitutes an express adoption of the FAA’s procedural provisions, see Victrola 89, LLC v Jaman Props. 8 LLC (2020) 46 CA5th 337 in §12.13.
Bankruptcy property exemption. Effective January 1, 2021, under CCP §704.730(a), the California homestead exemption is the greater of the countywide median sale price for a single-family home in the calendar year before the calendar year in which the judgment debtor claims the exemption, but not to exceed $600,000, or $300,000. See §13.8.