The Supreme Court today announced its late-May calendar, and it’s a big one. There will be 16 arguments over three days. As mentioned, May is the only double-calendar month and each calendar often includes more arguments than usual. In fact, this month’s total of 25 arguments is almost as much as the previous 5 calendars combined.
The late-May calendar will clear out some of the oldest non-death-penalty cases on the court’s docket. In three of the cases (Estate of Duke, City of San Diego, and Fluor Corporation), the court granted review in 2012. Another 2012 case was argued yesterday. The new oldest, un-argued cases on the docket are People v. Schaeffer, in which review was granted in October 2012, and Gillette Co. v. Franchise Tax Board, in which review was granted in January 2013.
The court gave the bare minimum 20-day notice of the arguments (minimum, that is, for the first day of the calendar). Counsel in the three oldest cases will have less than three weeks to re-learn what the cases are about.
On May 26, 27, and 28, in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as stated on the court’s website):
Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court: Are the limitations on assignment of third party liability insurance policy benefits recognized in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 934 inconsistent with the provisions of Insurance Code section 520?
[Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy represents the real party in interest.]
City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of the California State University: Does a state agency that may have an obligation to make “fair-share” payments for the mitigation of off-site impacts of a proposed project satisfy its duty to mitigate under the California Environmental Quality Act (Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) by stating that it has sought funding from the Legislature to pay for such mitigation and that, if the requested funds are not appropriated, it may proceed with the project on the ground that mitigation is infeasible?
[Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy represents the defendant.]
DKN Holdings LLC v. Faerber: (1) Can parties who are jointly and severally liable on an obligation be sued in separate actions? (2) Does the opinion of the Court of Appeal in this case conflict with the opinion of this court in Williams v. Reed (1957) 48 Cal.2d 57?
Estate of Duke: Should the “four corners” rule (see Estate of Barnes (1965) 63 Cal.2d 580) be reconsidered in order to permit drafting errors in a will to be reformed consistent with clear and convincing extrinsic evidence of the decedent’s intent?
Lee v. Hanley: Does the one-year statute of limitations for actions against attorneys set forth in California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.6 apply to a former client’s claim against an attorney for reimbursement of unearned attorney fees advanced in connection with a lawsuit?
People v. Jackson: [This is an automatic appeal from a November 2005 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]
[May 15 Update: The Supreme Court announced yesterday that the argument in the case will be continued to a future calendar. The case likely won’t be argued before September; the June calendar is already set and there are no arguments in July or August.]
[May 22 Update: This explains the argument continuance — two days ago, the court ordered supplemental briefing to address these questions: What is the significance, if any, of Evidence Code section 1108 with respect to the cross-admissibility of evidence of the sexual assault on Myrna Mason? Among the subsidiary questions counsel may wish to address are the following: 1. In light of the amended information (CT 713-714) and the jury instruction given in this case on the elements of burglary (CALJIC No. 14.50; CT 4138), was defendant accused of a sexual offense against Geraldine Myers within the meaning of Evidence Code section 1108 and People v. Story (2009) 45 Cal.4th 1282, 1294? 2. What evidence, other than the Mason sexual offenses, would support a jury finding that defendant entered Myers’s home with the intent to commit a sexual offense? (See People v. Falsetta (1999) 21 Cal.4th 903, 920, 923.) 3. Assuming defendant was accused of a sexual offense against Myers, would the trial court have been required to exclude evidence of the Mason sexual offenses under Evidence Code section 352 in a separate trial of the Myers charges? (Falsetta, supra, 21 Cal.4th at pp. 916-919.) 4. Do the provisions of Evidence Code section 1108 provide a basis to uphold the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to sever the Mason charges from the Myers charges?]
People v. Johnson: For the purpose of determining eligibility for resentencing under the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 (Prop. 36, Gen. Elec. (Nov. 6, 2012) [Pen. Code, § 1170.126]), is an offense considered a serious or violent felony if it was not defined as a serious or violent felony on the date the offense was committed but was defined as a serious or violent felony on the effective date of the Act?
Johnson will be argued with —
People v. Machado: Is an inmate serving an indeterminate term of life imprisonment under the Three Strikes Law (Pen. Code, §§ 667, subds. (b)-(j), 1170.12), which was imposed for a conviction of an offense that is not a serious or violent felony, eligible for resentencing on that conviction under the Three Strikes Reform Act if the inmate is also serving an indeterminate term of life imprisonment under the Three Strikes Law for a conviction of an offense that is a serious or violent felony?
Poole v. Orange County Fire Authority: Did a daily log about firefighters, which was maintained by a supervisor and used by the supervisor to prepare annual performance evaluations, qualify under the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (Gov. Code, § 3250 et seq.) as a personnel file and/or as a file used for personnel purposes?
Cordova v. City of Los Angeles: May a government entity be held liable if a dangerous condition of public property existed and caused the injuries plaintiffs suffered in an accident, but did not cause the third party conduct that led to the accident?
People v. Blackburn: Did the trial court prejudicially err by failing to advise defendant of his right to jury trial and obtain a personal waiver of that right?
People v. Tran: Did the trial court prejudicially err by failing to advise defendant of his right to jury trial and obtain a personal waiver of that right, and does the Court of Appeal have authority to declare a rule of procedure for the trial courts?
People v. Brown: (1) Was defendant detained when a deputy sheriff stopped his patrol car immediately behind defendant’s parked vehicle and activated the patrol car’s emergency lights? (2) In the alternative, did the deputy have reasonable suspicion to detain defendant?
J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company: After an insured has secured a judgment requiring an insurer to provide independent counsel to the insured (see San Diego Fed. Credit Union v. Cumis Ins. Society Inc. (1984) 162 Cal.App.3d 358), can the insurer seek reimbursement of defense fees and costs it considers unreasonable and unnecessary by pursuing a reimbursement action against independent counsel or can the insurer seek reimbursement only from its insured?
[Note: the argument in this case was continued from the early-May calendar.]
[Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy represents the petitioner on review.]
People v. Superior Court (Johnson): (1) Does the prosecution have a duty to review peace officer personnel files to locate material that must be disclosed to the defense under Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83? (2) Does the prosecution have a right to access those files absent a motion under Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531? (3) Must the prosecution file a Pitchess motion in order to disclose such Brady material to the defense?
The court also ordered briefing on this issue: Would the prosecution’s obligation under Brady v. Maryland (1963) 373 U.S. 83 (Brady) and its progeny be satisfied if it simply informs the defense of what the police department has informed it (that the two officers’ personnel files might contain Brady material), which would allow the defense to decide for itself whether to seek discovery of that material pursuant to statutory procedures? (See People v. Gutierrez (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 1463, 1475.)
People v. Nguyen: [This is an automatic appeal from a January 1999 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]
People v. Seumanu: [This is an automatic appeal from a December 2000 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]