December 2, 2016

11-case January calendar announced

The Supreme Court announced its first calendar of 2017, and it’s an unusually large one for a January.

On January 4 and 5, in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as stated on the court’s website):

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach:  (1) Did the City’s approval of the project at issue comport with the directives in its general plan to “coordinate with” and “work with” the California Coastal Commission to identify habitats for preservation, restoration, or development prior to project approval?  (2) What standard of review should apply to a city’s interpretation of its general plan?  (3) Was the city required to identify environmentally sensitive habitat areas – as defined in the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Pub. Resources Code, § 3000, et seq.) – in the environmental impact report for the project?

Carmack v. Reynolds:  Does section 15306.5 of the California Probate Code impose an absolute cap of 25 percent on a bankruptcy estate’s access to a beneficiary’s interest in a spendthrift trust that consists entirely of payments from principal, or may the bankruptcy estate reach more than 25 percent under other sections of the Probate Code?  The Supreme Court is deciding this issue at the Ninth Circuit’s request.

Flethez v. San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association:  If a retroactive award of service-connected disability retirement benefits is made in an administrative mandate proceeding, is prejudgment interest under Code of Civil Procedure section 3287 calculated from the day after the employee’s last day of regular compensation or the day on which the employee submitted the claim for the benefits?

People v. Gonzales:  Was defendant entitled to resentencing under Penal Code section 1170.18 on his conviction for second degree burglary either on the ground that it met the definition of misdemeanor shoplifting (Pen. Code, § 459.5) or on the ground that section 1170.18 impliedly includes any second degree burglary involving property valued at $950 or less?

People v. Merritt:  Is the failure to instruct the jury on the elements of a charged offense reversible per se or subject to harmless error review?  (See Neder v. United States (1999) 527 U.S. 1; People v. Mil (2012) 53 Cal.4th 400; People v. Cummings (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1233.)

People v. Brooks:  This is an automatic appeal from a July 2001 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.

Perry v. Bakewell Hawthorne, LLC:  Does Code of Civil Procedure section 2034.300, which requires a trial court to exclude the expert opinion of any witness offered by a party who has unreasonably failed to comply with the rules for exchange of expert witness information, apply to a motion for summary judgment?  [Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.]

People v. Garcia:  Are the conditions of probation mandated by Penal Code section 1203.067, subdivision (b), for persons convicted of specified felony sex offenses – including waiver of the privilege against self-incrimination, required participation in polygraph examinations, and waiver of the psychotherapist-patient privilege – constitutional?

People v. Romanowski:  Does Proposition 47 (“the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”), which reclassifies as a misdemeanor any grand theft involving property valued at $950 or less (Pen. Code, § 490.2), apply to theft of access card information in violation of Penal Code section 484e, subdivision (d)?

People v. Patterson:  Was defendant entitled to withdraw his plea (Pen. Code, § 1018) because his trial counsel assertedly provided constitutionally inadequate assistance of counsel during plea negotiations by failing to investigate and advise defendant of the immigration consequences of his plea?

People v. Reese:  Did the trial court violate defendant’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws when it denied defendant’s request for transcripts of the opening statements and closing arguments from defendant’s first trial, which ended in a mistrial?

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