BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2427


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          Date of Hearing:  May 18, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          AB  
          2427 (Chau) - As Amended May 4, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill streamlines the use of postmortem images in civil  
          actions and ensures timely production of expert witness reports  
          before depositions.  Specifically, this bill:


          1)Authorizes the use of postmortem images in a civil action or  
            proceeding that relates to the death of the deceased person,  
            if:


             a)   A coroner receives written authorization from a legal  








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               heir or representative of the deceased person before the  
               action is filed or while the action is pending.  To verify  
               identity, one of the following must be provided to the  
               coroner: (1) a declaration under penalty of perjury that  
               the individual is a legal heir or representative, and a  
               valid form of identification; or (2) a certified death  
               certificate.


             b)   A subpoena is issued by a party who is a legal heir or  
               representative of the deceased person in a pending civil  
               action.


          2)Requires that any materials or category of materials,  
            including any electronically stored information, and any  
            discoverable reports and writings of an expert trial witness,  
            demanded to be produced in the deposition notice be produced  
            no later than 3 business days before the deposition.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Likely negligible fiscal impact related to enforcement of the  
          requirement to provide documentation under penalty of perjury.


          COMMENTS:


          Postmortem Images. Under current law, the only path for civil  
          litigants to obtain postmortem images is through a court order.  
          This bill would allow a legal heir or representative to obtain  
          postmortem images from the coroner by either validating their  
          identity as a legal heir or representative, or by subpoena. 


          Expert Witness Reports. This bill requires expert witnesses to  








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          provide their reports and writings at least three days before a  
          deposition.  This is intended to provide time for the attorneys  
          to review the documents in preparation of the expert's  
          deposition, thus encouraging more efficient depositions, which  
          may reduce litigation costs for all parties.


          This bill, co-sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of California  
          and the California Defense Counsel, represents an effort between  
          the civil plaintiffs' and defense bar to jointly sponsor civil  
          procedure legislation that creates efficiencies in civil  
          litigation and improves the process for litigants, attorneys,  
          and the courts.


          Analysis Prepared by:Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081