The Supreme Court today announced a six-case early-May calendar.  May is the only month with two oral argument sessions.

Like all calendars since April 2020, and for the foreseeable future, May’s arguments will be remote and based in San Francisco.  (See herehere, here, and here.)  They will be live streamed, as all arguments have been since May 2016.

On May 5, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself):

Bonni v. St. Joseph Health System:  To what extent, if any, is the initiation and conduct of medical peer review proceedings protected activity under the anti-SLAPP statute?  Bonni was originally a grant-and-hold for Wilson v. Cable News Network, Inc., but, after the court decided Wilson, and disapproved Bonni on one point (Wilson v. Cable News Network, Inc. (2019) 7 Cal.5th 871, 892), the court in September 2019 opted to unhold the case and order briefing.  [Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy has filed an amicus curiae brief in the case.]

Pollock v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services:  (1) In a cause of action alleging quid pro quo sexual harassment resulting in a failure to promote in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, did the statute of limitations to file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing begin to run when the successful candidate was offered and accepted the position, or when that promotion later took effect, if there is no evidence that the plaintiff was aware of the promotion on the earlier date?  (2) Was it proper for the Court of Appeal to award costs on appeal under rule 8.278 of the California Rules of Court against an unsuccessful FEHA claimant in the absence of a finding that the underlying claims were objectively frivolous?  When the court granted review in August 2020, the case was titled Ducksworth v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services.

Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc.:  Can a company that hires an independent contractor be liable in tort for injuries sustained by the contractor’s employee based solely on the company’s negligent failure to undertake safety measures or is more affirmative action required to implicate Hooker v. Department of Transportation (2002) 27 Cal.4th 198?  The court granted review in January 2019.  [Disclosure:  Horvitz & Levy filed the petition for review and has briefed the case in the Supreme Court.]  Justice Joshua Groban is recused; Second District, Division Seven, Court of Appeal Justice Gail Ruderman Feuer is sitting pro tem.

People v. Esquivel:  The court limited the issue to:  “Is the judgment in a criminal case considered final for purposes of applying a later ameliorative change in the law when probation is granted and execution of sentence is suspended or only upon revocation of probation when the suspended sentence is ordered into effect?”  The change in the law is Senate Bill 136.  The court granted review in August 2020.  [April 22 update:  the court asked counsel to address at oral argument “the issue described in this court’s August 12, 2020 order granting review, not the remedy, if any, to which defendant may be entitled if the judgment is nonfinal.”]

People v. Bryant:  Should the validity of a condition of release on mandatory supervision be assessed under the standards applicable to conditions of parole or the standards applicable to conditions of probation?  The court granted review in February 2020.

People v. Dworak:  This is an automatic direct appeal from a June 2005 judgment of death.  The court’s website does not list issues for death penalty appeals.  Counsel was appointed in July 2009.  Briefing was completed in April 2016.