The Supreme Court today announced its June calendar, 434 days after Justice Kathryn Werdegar announced her retirement. This will be the 11th (!) straight calendar with pro tem justices and will bring to 86 (!) the number of cases with randomly selected pro tems filling Justice Werdegar’s seat. As mentioned before, pro tems pose a potential institutional problem. Like the court’s late-May calendar, the pro tems have yet to be named.
Before the June oral arguments, the court will hold a ceremony in memory of former Justice Armand Arabian, who died in March.
On June 5 and 6, in Los Angeles, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself):
In re C.B. and In re C.H.: In these cases consolidated for oral argument and opinion, the common issue is — Did the trial court err by refusing to order the expungement of a juvenile’s DNA record after his qualifying felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47 (Pen. Code § 1170.18)? The C.H. case has this additional issue — Does the retention of juvenile’s DNA sample violate equal protection because a person who committed the same offense after Proposition 47 was enacted would be under no obligation to provide a DNA sample? The court granted review in both cases in November 2016.
De La Torre v. CashCall, Inc.: At the Ninth Circuit’s request, the Supreme Court will address “whether the interest rates on consumer loans of $2500 or more that are governed by California Finance Code § 22303, which provides no interest rate limitations on such loans, can be deemed unconscionable under California Finance Code § 22302 and thus be the predicate for a private cause of action under the California Unfair Competition Law (‘UCL’).” The Supreme Court granted the federal court’s request in June 2017.
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc.: (1) May a court rely on non-legislative expressions of public policy to overturn an arbitration award on illegality grounds? (2) Can a sophisticated consumer of legal services, represented by counsel, give its informed consent to an advance waiver of conflicts of interest? (3) Does a conflict of interest that undisputedly caused no damage to the client and did not affect the value or quality of an attorney’s work automatically (i) require the attorney to disgorge all previously paid fees, and (ii) preclude the attorney from recovering the reasonable value of the unpaid work? The court granted review in April 2016.
Bianka M. v. Superior Court: Did the trial court err in denying petitioner’s request for an order making findings concerning Special Immigrant Juvenile status (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(J); see Code Civ. Proc., § 155) and placing her in her mother’s sole legal and physical custody? The court granted review in May 2016. [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy submitted an amici curiae brief in this case supporting the petitioner.]
Bianka M. is unusual. No one initially defended the Court of Appeal’s opinion, causing the Supreme Court to affirmatively seek an amicus brief in place of an answer brief. But even that solicited amicus brief (not the one filed by Horvitz & Levy) says it is “tak[ing] a neutral approach,” “agree[ing] with some of the Court of Appeal’s rulings . . . [and] disagree[ing] with others,” and “agree[ing] with Petitioner in some, but not all, respects.”
Ramirez v. City of Gardena: Is the immunity provided by Vehicle Code section 17004.7 available to a public agency only if all peace officers of the agency certify in writing that they have received, read, and understand the agency’s vehicle pursuit policy? The court granted review in November 2017.
[Update: Pro tems announced for June calendar.]