Logourl black
From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...

Wiley v. County of San Diego

Supreme Court of California
19 Cal. 4th 532 (1998)


Facts

Kevin Wiley (plaintiff) was arrested and charged with burglary and assault against his former girlfriend, Toni DiGiovanni. Public defender John Jimenez (defendant) was assigned at the criminal arraignment. Jimenez had an investigator contact witnesses, but the investigator did not find a witness to establish an alibi for Wiley. At trial, DiGiovanni’s 11-year-old son testified that he saw Wiley’s truck at his house the morning of the attack and that Wiley had abused his mom before. The jury convicted Wiley of battery, and Wiley was sentenced to four years in prison. While Wiley’s appeal was pending, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus claiming inadequate assistance of counsel. Wiley attached declarations from DiGiovanni’s neighbors, none of whom were contacted by the investigator Jimenez hired, saying they saw a man who was not Wiley banging on DiGiovanni’s door and shouting on the day of the alleged attacks. The trial court denied Wiley’s petition. One year later, Wiley filed a second petition for writ of habeas corpus. In addition to the declarations he previously submitted, Wiley submitted evidence that DiGiovanni’s son recanted his testimony. The trial court granted the petition, finding that DiGiovanni’s son had lied and his testimony was crucial in convicting Wiley. The court also found that an inadequate investigation deprived Wiley of witnesses for his defense. The prosecutors dismissed the criminal case against Wiley. Wiley then filed a malpractice claim against Jimenez and the County of San Diego (county) (defendant). Prior to trial, the court found that Wiley’s innocence was not an issue, and the court would not require proof of Wiley’s innocence or submit the question to the jury. The jury found in favor of Wiley and awarded him $162,500. On appeal, Jimenez and the county challenged the trial court’s ruling on the issue of actual innocence, but the appellate court rejected their arguments on that issue. Jimenez and the County sought review.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

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 97,000 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 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.