Petitioner convicted murderer sought a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that he received ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial and sentencing in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), for the murder of a police officer who attempted to arrest petitioner and his accomplices for a string of robberies.
Petitioner convicted murderer sought a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial for a police officer's murder deprived him of constitutionally adequate representation and was so prejudicial with regard to the penalty phase that it rendered the death penalty verdict unreliable. The court granted the petition for a writ of habeas corpus, vacated the mileage rate 2021 California judgment that imposed the death penalty, and remanded petitioner to the trial court for a new penalty trial because it found that a reasonable probability existed that absent the numerous failings of petitioner's counsel and the conflicts of interest that burdened him, a different penalty verdict would have been reached. The court found that prejudice had likely resulted from counsel's role in convincing petitioner to admit to participation in a string of robberies that occurred before the murder because the robbery convictions were offered as evidence of aggravating circumstances during the penalty trial. The court also found that counsel's failure to discover evidence of mitigating circumstances for presentation during the penalty phase probably prejudiced the verdict.
The court granted petitioner convicted murder's petition for a writ of habeas corpus and vacated the judgment insofar as the penalty of death was imposed because the court concluded that petitioner did not receive constitutionally adequate representation at the penalty phase of the trial. Petitioner was remanded to the custody of the sheriff to be held pending retrial of the penalty phase of his prosecution for murder.
Appellant husband petitioned for rehearing of an appeal made in which the court reversed appellant's motion in limine, allowing evidence that the court concluded was relevant in calculating the community property, to the value of appellant's medical education. The court also denied appellee wife's request that appellant pay her attorney's fees and expert witness fees.
In a divorce proceeding, appellant husband moved for a partial summary judgment that his medical education was not community property and simultaneously, appellant moved for an order in limine which would exclude any and all evidence of the value of appellant's medical education. The court affirmed the denial of the motion holding that property must have certain attributes, namely, those of being susceptible of ownership in common, of transfer and survival, and the professional education acquired by appellant during the marriage did not have any of these attributes. The court held that the trial court apparently concluded that appellee had demonstrated that her own resources were insufficient to meet her litigation expenses, without impairment of the capital of her very limited estate, and therefore she was entitled to an award of attorney's fees. Based upon the foregoing, the court held that it could not say as a matter of law that the trial court abused its discretion in making the award of attorney's fees. The court held that the fee of the appellee's expert witness was an impermissible item to be taxed to appellant.
The court modified and affirmed the order holding that appellant husband's professional education was not common marital property. The court further held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in making the award of attorney's fees to the appellee wife; the fees for appellee's expert witness was an impermissible item to be taxed to appellant.