Reading law at the courthouse

I spent the day at the courthouse reading the Nolo Press book on neighbor law today. Why? 

The lot next to my house has “red-tagged” seven trees, meaning the owners have applied for a permit to remove them, most likely because they mean to build a house there. Naturally my neighbors and I have opinions about both intentions, and now we have to step through the city’s hoops to express our views on same. 

I was at the courthouse because I had been summoned for jury duty. I was supposed to call in last night after 5pm, a fact which I remembered at 9:35am today; had I done so, I would have known I was supposed to report to the courthouse at 8:30am. I then attempted to call the jury room, shower, and dress all at once, eventually succeeding at the tasks sequentially in the above order. When I reached the a live human at the jury room and explained that I’d overslept, she chuckled in a way that suggested sympathy and explained that I would need to call back after 11am to see if I was needed in the afternoon, and if not I’d be excused. Let’s hear it for kind jury-room staff. 

I called back at 11am and was indeed told to report by 1pm. I did so and waited around through various announcements issued in triplicate, a boring orientation video apparently intended to relieve a virulent strain of jury anxiety of which I was previously unaware, and hours of people’s cell phones disturbing the public peace. Eventually at 3:35pm we were all dismissed. The court clerk who dismissed us told us to go buy lottery tickets, because this was our lucky day: our case had just been settled; had it not, the trial was expected to last six to eight weeks or more. 

I asked her, “Was it expected to be an interesting six to eight weeks, at least?”

She look surprised by my question, then grinned and said, “Oh, yeah! It would have been interesting, all right!”

Anyone know which case was in the Hayward (California) Hall of Justice, Dept 519, on the afternoon of 20 March 2006?