Tuesday, December 17, 2013

People v. Nguyen (Cal. Ct. App. - Dec. 17, 2013)

Perhaps you zoned out during your first-year criminal law class.  No matter.  You went into civil law anyway.  Or you dealt with more substantive offenses.  No loss on your end.

The Court of Appeal, unfortunately, does not have an equivalent luxury.  They have to go into excruciating detail about the subtle distinction between "larceny by trick" and "theft by false pretenses".  A distinction that may be material in terms of punishment and instruction, but that is otherwise a remnant of history that really doesn't matter in the slightest.  Law professors pouring over the development of common law crimes in the seventeen century may be fascinated.  Everybody else just has to deal.

For what it's worth, here's the answer.