May 9, 2013

15 cases on calendar before summer “break”

Finishing up a 14-case early May calendar today, the Supreme Court announced another 15 cases will be argued during its late-May and early-June calendars. May is the only month with two argument calendars and it’s not unusual for the court to hear lots of cases before the July and August argument-less months. The 2013 pre-summer calendars are heavy, but not like last year’s monsters — the court heard 16 cases in early May and 25 (!) in late May and early June.

The court was a bit stingy on notice for the late-May calendar. The rules require 20 days’ minimum notice. The late-May calendar includes six cases to be heard on May 29, but notice wasn’t given until yesterday, 21 days before those arguments. One of the cases — American Nurses Assn. v. Torlakson — has been fully briefed for over two years (a bit under two years if you’re counting from the last response to an amicus curiae brief), so counsel in that case have just 3 weeks to re-learn the case and prepare for argument.

On May 29 and 30 and June 5, the court will hear the following cases in San Francisco (with the issue(s) presented as stated on the court’s website):

Elk Hills Power, LLC v. Board of Equalization: How do limitations on the taxation of intangible property (see Cal. Const., art. XIII, section 2; Rev. & Tax. Code sections 110, 212; Roehm v. County of Orange (1948) 32 Cal.2d 280) apply to the assessment of a power plant subject to annual assessment by the State Board of Equalization (Cal. Const., art. XIII, section 19), when the owner of the plant used emission reduction credits (see Health & Saf. Code, section 40709) to offset its emissions and obtain authorization to construct the plant?

Hayes v. County of San Diego: Whether under California negligence law, liability can arise from tactical conduct and decisions employed by law enforcement preceding the use of deadly force. The Supreme Court is hearing this case at the Ninth Circuit’s request, under somewhat unusual circumstances.

American Nurses Assn. v. Torlakson: (1) Under California law, are designated school personnel who are not licensed nurses allowed to administer insulin to diabetic students pursuant to treating physicians’ orders under a Section 504 Plan (29 U.S.C. section 794; 34 C.F.R. section 104.1 et seq.) or an Individualized Education Program (20 U.S.C. section 1414(d))? (2) If not, is California law preempted by federal law?

People v. Davis: Did substantial evidence support defendant’s convictions for possession and sale of a controlled substance even though MDMA/Ecstasy is not expressly listed as a controlled substance subject to Health and Safety Code sections 11377 and 11379, and the prosecution did not present expert testimony that MDMA/Ecstasy contains a controlled substance or is an analog of a controlled substance?

People v. Harris: [This is an automatic appeal from an August 1999 judgment of death. The court's website does not list issues for such appeals.]

People v. Jones: [This is an automatic appeal from a September 1994 judgment of death. The court's website does not list issues for such appeals.]

Today’s Fresh Start, Inc. v. Los Angeles County Office of Education: Does due process require an evidentiary hearing before a neutral hearing officer or decision-maker prior to the revocation of a charter school’s charter by a county board of education?

Reilly v. Superior Court: Was petitioner entitled to dismissal of a petition for commitment under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (Welf. & Inst. Code, section 6600 et seq.) when the evaluations originally supporting the filing of the petition were conducted under an assessment protocol that was later found to constitute an invalid regulation and the results of reevaluation under a properly-adopted assessment protocol would have precluded the initial filing of the petition under Welfare and Institutions Code section 6601?

People v. Williams: Can a conviction for robbery be based on the use of force in the attempt to escape after committing the crime of theft by false pretenses as opposed to theft by larceny?

People v. Martinez: (1) Did the trial court abuse its discretion in denying defendant’s motion to withdraw his 1992 guilty plea based on the failure of the trial court at the time of the plea to advise him of the immigration consequences of his plea, as mandated by Penal Code section 1016.5? (2) In ruling on such a motion, should a court consider in addition to the defendant’s prospects at trial, factors such as the possibility that had the defendant been properly warned, he might have obtained an immigration-neutral disposition or might have preferred his chances at trial over the certainty of deportation if he entered the plea?

People v. Johnson: Is there a crime of conspiracy to commit the offense of active participation in a criminal street gang in violation of Penal Code section 186.22, subdivision (a)?

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

People v. Dowl: Whether the People, when confronted with a medical marijuana defense, must call an expert with experience distinguishing lawful, medical possession from unlawful possession to establish that defendant possessed marijuana for sale.

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

People v. Mai: [This is an automatic appeal from a June 2000 judgment of death. The court's website does not list issues for such appeals.]

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