Nau v Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois

Nau appealed summary judgment to Safeco in his uninsured motorist claim. The panel affirmed. After reviewing the relevant out of state case law, the panel held that in a case involving debris on the road, the plaintiff must prove that negligence by an unknown driver is not merely possible but the likely explanation for the presence of the debris. Here, Nau did not know what kind of debris was involved and the suggested types of concrete and rubber were just as likely to be on the road from some other source and thus his theory was based on speculation and summary judgment for Safeco was correct.

State v King

King appealed his theft convictions arguing his trial counsel was ineffective for not presenting evidence about eyewitness reliability. The panel affirmed. It found no deficient performance in not putting on an expert on eyewitness reliability as the testimony of the expert given in the ineffectiveness hearing would have helped the state more than King as it was more supportive of a finding of reliability than of nonreliability. It also held King did not support his argument he failure to consult an expert was ineffective assistance with case law authority and in any event trial counsel testified about her familiarity with the law and her conclusion any consultation would have resulted in her concluding the testimony would be harmful and thus no investigation was required. It rejected King’s claim that the presence of a uniformed deputy in the courtroom under Palin error review as trial counsel agreed to the remedy of having the deputy sit away from King and there is not duty to determine the amount of officers necessary. It held the record did not support King’s argument that he was handcuffed during trial and efforts were made to keep his leg restraints hidden form the jury. As there were no errors, the cumulative error argument failed.

State v Olivarez

Olivarez appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. The panel affirmed. It held that there was reasonable suspicion to stop Olivarez as he moved over four lanes of traffic on one signal, Utah code 41-6a-804 plainly requires a separate signal and two second wait before moving left or right form one lane to another lane and the officer saw the violation. It held the inventory search was proper here as Olivarez did not have a driver’s license, did not own the car and the car would have been left on the d=side of busy off ramp and further held that the search complied with Salt lake City directives because the need to protect the absent owner’s property and the police department from liability meant the expense of inventory and impoundment was not “needless”.