Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Walker v. Superior Court

Supreme Court of California
47 Cal.3d 112, 253 Cal.Rptr. 1, 763 P.2d 852 (1988)


Laurie Walker was a member of a church that espoused treating illnesses with prayer rather than medical care. Walker’s four-year-old daughter, Shauntay, fell ill with flu-like symptoms and a stiff neck. Walker refused to seek any medical care for her child, and instead attempted to treat Shauntay with prayer. Shauntay’s condition deteriorated as she lost weight, became disoriented, and had difficulty breathing, and seventeen days after falling ill she died. Walker was charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangerment. Walker contended that her actions were legally insufficient to constitute criminal culpability for involuntary manslaughter, and that her actions were constitutionally protected as a free exercise of religion, but her motion to dismiss the charges were denied. Walker filed a petition to the court of appeal for a writ of prohibition and a stay, which were summarily denied. The Supreme Court of California granted Walker’s petition for review, and then transferred the matter back to the court of appeal. Upon further briefing and oral arguments, the court of appeal again denied Walker’s petition. The Supreme Court of California then granted Walker’s second petition for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial