October 5, 2011

A dozen cases — including Brinker — on the Supreme Court’s November calendar

The Supreme Court yesterday posted its November calendar, which for the third straight month will be heard in San Francisco. The court will hear 12 cases, including Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, 27 months after the last parties’ brief was filed in that case. One third of the arguments are in death penalty cases.

The cases (and the issues presented, as stated on the court’s website) that will be argued on November 8 and 9 are:

Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court: The case presents issues concerning the proper interpretation of California’s statutes and regulations governing an employer’s duty to provide meal and rest breaks to hourly workers.

Rossa v. D. L. Falk Construction, Inc.: Does California Rules of Court, rule 8.278(d)(1)(F), which permits a successful appellant to recover “the cost to obtain a letter of credit as collateral,” allow the recovery of interest paid on sums borrowed to fund a letter of credit used to secure a surety bond?

People v. Nelson: Did the 15-year-old defendant’s request to speak with his mother while he was being questioned by police constitute a request to speak with an attorney that required the officer to cease the questioning immediately?

In re C. H.: (1) Was minor ineligible for commitment to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice, because he was not found to have committed an offense enumerated in Welfare and Institutions Code section 707, subdivision (b), although his offense was enumerated in Penal Code section 290.008, subdivision (c)? (2) Assuming the juvenile court had the statutory authority to order such a commitment, did the court abuse its discretion in doing so on the ground there was no showing that minor would benefit from that commitment and because the court failed to adequately consider alternative placements?

People v. Enraca: [This is an automatic appeal from a July 1999 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

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

O’Neil v. Crane Co.: Can the manufacturer of valves and fittings installed on Navy ships, and designed to be used with asbestos packing, gaskets, and insulation, rely on the “component parts” defense or related theories to preclude strict liability for asbestosis injuries years later suffered by seamen on those ships? [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy represents Crane Company in this case.]

People v. Ahmed: Does Penal Code section 654 apply to enhancements and thereby preclude imposition of the enhancements in this case for both personal use of a firearm and personal infliction of great bodily injury under circumstances involving domestic violence?

People v. Maultsby: Was defendant required to obtain a certificate of probable cause to raise on appeal a claim that his admissions regarding prior conviction allegations were not knowingly and intelligently made, even though he was convicted by jury of the underlying offense? (See Pen. Code, section 1237.5; People v. Fulton (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 1230.)

People v. Cravens: (1) Was the evidence sufficient to support defendant’s conviction for second degree murder on a theory of implied malice when defendant, during a lull in a fight between the victim and one of defendant’s friends, knocked the victim unconscious with a single punch, causing him to fall to the ground, fracture his skull, and die? (2) Did the Court of Appeal properly reduce defendant’s murder conviction to voluntary manslaughter on the theory that any unintentional killing without malice that occurs during the commission of a felony assault is voluntary manslaughter?

People v. Pearson: [This is an automatic appeal from a November 2003 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

People v. Fuiava: [This is an automatic appeal from an August 1996 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

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