At its Wednesday conference yesterday, the Supreme Court didn’t agree to hear any new cases; i.e., there were no straight grants. However, there were some actions of note, including:
- The court granted and held in Wilmot v. Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association. This is another pension case. (See, e.g., here.) It’s on hold pending a decision in Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Assn. v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Assn., which raises the question, Did statutory amendments to the County Employees’ Retirement Law (Gov. Code, § 31450 et seq.) made by the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (Gov. Code, § 7522 et seq.) reduce the scope of the pre-existing definition of pensionable compensation and thereby impair employees’ vested rights protected by the contracts clauses of the state and federal Constitutions? The court heard argument in a different pension case — Cal Fire Local 2881 v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System — on the December calendar. In Wilmot, the First District, Division Two, Court of Appeal’s published opinion went against the retired employee plaintiff, but avoided the constitutional question by deciding the case “as a matter of straightforward statutory construction” because of the plaintiff’s “apparently unique set of circumstances.”
- The court denied review in Ramos v. Superior Court, but Justice Ming Chin recorded a vote to grant. [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy filed the petition for review.] In a published opinion, the First District, Division One, held to be unconscionable an arbitration provision in a law firm’s partnership agreement.
- There were four criminal case grant-and-holds and one criminal case grant-and-transfer.