The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted, (2) review has been denied but one or more justices has voted for review, or (3) the Court has ordered depublished an opinion of the Court of Appeal.
Borisoff v. Pullman Group, S237730 – Review Granted and Held – November 22, 2016
In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeal, Second District, Division One, held that a trial court must in the first instance determine whether a valid arbitration agreement exists; that determination is not a matter for the arbitrators. The court also concluded that the arbitration award under review was unenforceable because it would violate the law and contravene public policy; provisions of the contract that was construed in the arbitration improperly commercialized the practice of law and authorized the practice of law without a license.
The Supreme Court granted review and ordered briefing deferred pending the decision in Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc. (S232946), which presents the following issues: (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?
Marin Association of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association, S237460 – Review Granted and Held – November 22, 2016
In a published opinion, Marin Association of Public Employees v. Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 674, the Court of Appeal, First District, Division Two, affirmed the judgment in an action for writ of administrative mandate, rejecting an argument that a statutory change in a pension law unconstitutionally impaired employees’ contracts.
The Supreme Court granted review and ordered briefing deferred pending the decision of the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Four, in Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Assn. v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Assn. (A141913), or further order of the Court.
Review Denied (with dissenting justices)
Coastal Hills Rural Preservation v. County of Sonoma, S237655 – Review Granted and Transferred; Depublished – November 22, 2016
A citizens’ group challenged a proposed expansion of a retreat center that had been approved by the County of Sonoma. The group petitioned for a writ of mandate, arguing that a formal environmental impact report was required. The trial court denied the petition, and in a published opinion, Coastal Hills Rural Preservation v. County of Sonoma (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 1234, the Court of Appeal, First District, Division One, affirmed.
The Supreme Court granted review and transferred the case to the Court of Appeal for reconsideration in light of Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (2016) 1 Cal.5th 937, 957-959, fn. 6, and California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 15384. The Court also granted a request for depublication of the Court of Appeal opinion.