February 15, 2017

Clean-up-their-own-mess, intentional interference opinions filing tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, the Supreme Court will file opinions in People v. Superior Court (Morales) and Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. v. American Asphalt South, Inc., which were both argued on the December calendar.

It was in the Morales case that a Court of Appeal justice said at oral argument that the “problem” in the case is one “of their [the Supreme Court’s] creation,” and that he “always believe[s] in someone cleaning up their own mess,” comments that were quoted in the successful petition for review.  The issue is whether the superior court had jurisdiction to order various entities to preserve materials that might at a later date be included in a motion for post-conviction discovery under Penal Code section 1054.9.

The Roy Allan Slurry Seal case raises these questions:  (1) In the context of competitive bidding on a public works contract, may the second lowest bidder state a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage against the winning bidder based on an allegation that the winning bidder did not fully comply with California’s prevailing wage law after the contract was awarded?  (2) To state a cause of action for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, must the plaintiff allege that it had a preexisting economic relationship with a third party with probable future benefit that preceded or existed separately from defendant’s interference, or is it sufficient for the plaintiff to allege that its economic expectancy arose at the time the public agency awarded the contract to the low bidder?

The two opinions can be viewed tomorrow starting at 10:00 a.m.

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