Cal Law Trends and Developments


Ronan E. Degnan

Article Title



This survey is concerned with case law as well as with statutes, but the cases selected will be of primary interest because they shed some light on how California courts are apt to interpret the statutes. Somewhat paradoxically, this requires some preference for dictum over holding. The clear holdings from all but the very end of the calendar year were applications of the old law, because the appellate courts were still disposing of the cases that had gone to trial before January 1, 1967. But the appellate judges were alert to the new Code, and frequently they would consider how they might be required to rule if the new rather than the old law applied. These utterances may be dicta only, but they are more interesting than a most carefully considered decision that was obsolete the very day on which it was decided.

Not until the very end of the year did any number of cases actually tried under the Evidence Code come before the courts for reported decision, and these are noted when they seem to be significant. In a fair number of cases courts have noted, somewhat in surprise, that the new law is not different from the old. In nine out of ten instances, this is the case; most of the Code merely codifies the rule as it existed before.

Included in

Evidence Commons