December 8, 2011

Easing into the new year with a light January calendar

The Supreme Court today posted its first oral argument calendar for 2012, and it’s a light one. “Light,” of course, only in the sense of the number of cases to be heard. The court will be considering rather heavy issues relating to sexual abuse of children and a death penalty appeal.

The court will hear just three cases on January 5 in San Francisco. One — Quarry v. Doe — has been pending on review for 30 months, which is almost as long as for another matter we identified as possibly the oldest currently pending civil case on the court’s docket.

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

Quarry v. Doe: Did the Court of Appeal err in concluding that plaintiffs were entitled to rely on the delayed discovery provisions of the statute of limitations (Code Civ. Proc., section 340.1) for claims of childhood sexual abuse against specified non-perpetrators who knew of the abuse and had the ability to prevent it but failed to do so?

C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High School: May a school district be held liable for the negligent hiring, retention, or supervision of a school guidance counselor who molests a student, when district employees who hired the counselor knew that the counselor had a history of child molestation?

People v. Abel: [This is an automatic appeal from a September 1997 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such appeals.]

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