August 25, 2011

Summary of August 24, 2011 conference report for civil cases

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, August 24, 2011. The summary includes those civil cases in which (1) review has been granted (not including grant-and-transfers), (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.

Review Granted

Marriage of Valli, S193990—Review Granted—August 24, 2011

The issue is whether a life insurance policy on the husband’s life that lists the wife as the policy owner, but is taken out jointly by the husband and the wife, is the wife’s separate property under the “form of title” presumption. The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Five, held in a published decision that it is.

Elk Hills Power v. Board of Equalization, S194121—Review Granted—August 24, 2011

The issue is whether emission reduction credits purchased and applied under Health and Safety Code section 40709 were properly included in determining the fair market value of the assessed property. The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division One, held in a published decision that they were.

Kaiser Cement & Gypsum v. Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania, S194724—Review Granted & Held—August 24, 2011

The court ordered further action deferred pending a decision in the related case of State of California v. Continental Insurance Company, S170560, which presents the issues: (1) When continuous property damage occurs during the periods of several successive liability policies, is each insurer liable for all damage both during and outside its period up to the amount of the insurer’s policy limits?, and (2) If so, is the “stacking” of limits — i.e., obtaining the limits of successive policies — permitted?

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

Ribiero v. County of El Dorado, S194102—Review Denied [Werdegar, J., voting for review]—August 24, 2011

The issue was whether a purchaser of tax-defaulted property from a public entity at a tax sale may rescind the contract due to unilateral mistake. The Court of Appeal, Third District, held in a published decision that a purchaser’s mistake in buying real estate at a tax sale without knowing the amount of bond arrearages did not entitle the purchaser to rescind the tax-sale contract.



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