The Supreme Court last week announced its April calendar in Los Angeles. Because of budget concerns, this will likely be the court’s last visit to Southern California before the no-calendar months of July and August. The court will hear arguments over two days in 11 cases, including two of the numerous pending arbitration cases.

One of the arbitration case is among the oldest pending civil cases on the court’s docket — review was granted three and a half years ago in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno. In contrast, review was granted in another calendared case — In re I. J. — less than six months ago.

On April 3 and 4, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue(s) presented as stated on the court’s website):

Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno: (1) Can a mandatory employment arbitration agreement be enforced prior to the conclusion of an administrative proceeding conducted by the Labor Commissioner concerning an employee’s statutory wage claim? (2) Was the Labor Commissioner’s jurisdiction over employee’s statutory wage claim divested by the Federal Arbitration Act under Preston v. Ferrer (2008) __ U.S. __, 128 S.Ct. 978, 169 L.Ed.2d 917? [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy submitted an amicus curiae brief in the case.]

City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court: The Supreme Court’s website does not state issues for this case, but the Court of Appeal’s opinion held that an agreement to arbitrate the propriety of an ordinance requiring furloughs of City civilian employees was an improper delegation of discretionary policymaking power vested in the City Council.

Doe v. Harris: The court has agreed to answer the Ninth Circuit’s question, as rephrased, whether, under California law of contract interpretation as applicable to the interpretation of plea agreements, the law in effect at the time of a plea agreement binds the parties or whether the terms of a plea agreement can be affected by changes in the law.

In re I. J.: Was the evidence that a 14-year-old girl had been sexually abused by her father sufficient in itself to support a juvenile court’s jurisdictional findings under Welfare and Institutions Code, section 300, subdivisions (b), (d) or (j), that her younger male siblings were at substantial risk of future sexual abuse or other risk of harm?

People v. Lopez: [This is an automatic appeal from a September 1998 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

El-Attar v. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center: (1) Could the executive committee of the hospital medical staff delegate to the hospital governing board its authority to select the hearing officer and the physician members of the peer review panel to hear a physician’s challenge to the governing board’s denial of his application for reappointment to the hospital medical staff? (2) If the hospital by-laws did not permit this procedure, was the peer review panel selected by the governing board “improperly constituted,” requiring a new peer review procedure conducted by a new hearing panel selected by the executive committee? [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy represents Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in this case.]

Biancalana v. T. D. Service Company: When a trustee makes an error in the processing and announcement of a beneficiary’s “credit bid” during foreclosure proceedings on a deed of trust, and the trustee has not yet issued a trustee’s deed to the highest bidder at the foreclosure sale, does the trustee have the discretionary authority to set aside the foreclosure sale due to that error?

People v. Santana: Does CALCRIM No. 801, which defines the crime of mayhem, incorrectly require the People to prove that a defendant caused serious bodily injury to the victim?

Robey v. Superior Court: (1) Could police conduct a warrantless search of a package smelling of marijuana under a “plain smell” exception to the warrant requirement? (2) Could police conduct a warrantless search of the package because the mobility of the box created exigent circumstances even after an officer seized the package from a common carrier and held it at the police station?

People v. Nunez and Satele: [This is an automatic appeal from two September 2000 judgments of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

People v. Rountree: [This is an automatic appeal from an August 1995 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]