The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conference on Wednesday, May 11, 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. This week, we also note that the Court has limited the issues to be decided in a pending case, and has vacated submission in another matter in order to take additional briefing on defined issues.
Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California, S232607- Review Granted- May 11, 2016
This case presents the following question: What is the proper method for calculating the rate of overtime pay when an employee receives both an hourly wage and a flat sum bonus?
The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two, held in a published opinion, Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California (2016) 243 Cal.App.4th 1200, that held that employer’s formula for calculating the overtime rate for per-shift payments did not violate state law.
In re F.T., S233479- Review Granted and Held- May 11, 2016
The Supreme Court granted review and ordered briefing deferred pending its decision in In re Isaiah W., S221263, which presents the following issue: “Does a parent’s failure to appeal from a juvenile court order finding that notice under the Indian Child Welfare Act was unnecessary preclude the parent from subsequently challenging that finding more than a year later in the course of appealing an order terminating parental rights?” The Court of Appeal, Fifth District, held in In re F.T. (Mar. 1, 2016, F072329) 2016 WL 800722 (nonpub.opn.) upheld an order terminating parental rights.
In re R.R., S233253- Review Granted and Held- May 11, 2016
In re R.R. presents the same issue as In re F.T. above, and the Supreme Court likewise ordered briefing deferred pending its decision in In re Isaiah W., S221263. The Fifth District Court of Appeal in In re R.R. (Feb. 11, 2016, F070994) 2016 WL 544826 (nonpub. opn.), upheld a dependency court’s order terminating parental rights.
Review Denied (with dissenting justices)
Kim v. Toyota Motor Corporation, S232754- Issues Limited- May 11, 2016
The Supreme Court granted review in this case on April 13, 2016. On May 11, the Court ordered the issue to be briefed and argued limited to the following: Did the trial court commit reversible error in admitting, as relevant to the risk-benefit test for design defect, evidence of industry custom and practice related to the alleged defect?
The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Seven, held in a published decision, Kim v. Toyota Motor Corporation (2016) 243 Cal.App.4th 1366 that: (1) the jury could consider evidence of industry custom and practice in the risk-benefit analysis to determine whether a product has a defect supporting strict products liability;(2) the jury could consider a manufacturer’s compliance or noncompliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and industry custom in applying the risk-benefit test;(3) the trial court acted within its discretion in concluding that manufacturer’s slideshows about electronic stability control systems were unduly prejudicial;(4) the consumer expectations test was inapplicable to a motorist’s products liability claim; and(5) trial court acted within its discretion in instructing plaintiff’s counsel to finish rebuttal argument within three more minutes.
Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District, S214061 – Submission Vacated- May 11, 2016
This case was argued and submitted on May 4. A week later, on May 11, the Supreme Court vacated submission and directed the filing of supplemental briefs on the following questions: (1) Under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines section 15162, what standard of judicial review applies to an agency’s determination that no environmental impact report (EIR) is required as a result of proposed modifications to a project that was initially approved by negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration? (See generally Benton v. Board of Supervisors (1991) 226 Cal.App.3d 1467, 1479–1482.) (2) Does CEQA Guidelines section 15162, as applied to projects initially approved by negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration rather than EIR, constitute a valid interpretation of the governing statute? (Compare Bowman v. City of Petaluma (1986) 185 Cal.App.3d 1065, 1073–1074 with Benton at pp. 1479–1480.)
The Court of Appeal, First District, Division One, held in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (Sept. 26, 2013, A135892) 2016 WL 5377849 (nonpub. opn.) that the demolition project at issue was a new project not subject to an addendum and thus required additional environmental review.