December 14, 2012

Summary of December 12, 2012 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, December 12, 2012. 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 note that the Court continues to display an increased willingness to depublish Court of Appeal decisions, ordering depublished not one but two decisions of the Second Appellate District, Division Eight, both of which apply Brinker Restaurant Corp v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1004. For a substantive discussion of this development, check out the UCL Practitioner’s post here.

Review Granted

Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co.), S205889—Review Granted—December 12, 2010

The question presented is whether the limitations on assignment of third party liability insurance policy benefits recognized in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 934, are inconsistent with the provisions of Insurance Code section 520.

The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, held in a published decision, Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 1506, that Henkel was not inconsistent with section 520 because the Legislature could not have intended to address the assignability of liability insurance, as liability insurance did not yet exist at the time the statute was drafted.

Assessor for County of Santa Barbara v. Assessment Appeals Board No. 1 (Rancho Goleta Lakeside Mobileers), S205876—Review Granted—December 12, 2012

The question presented is the proper method, under Revenue and Taxation Code section 62.1, for determining the assessed value of the real property interest in a mobile home park after a transfer of a membership interest in the nonprofit corporation that owns the park.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Six, held in a published opinion, Assessor for County of Santa Barbara v. Assessment Appeals Board No. 1 (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 1412, that the Appeals Board properly construed section 62.1 in order to arrive at the correct assessment value, while the Assessor’s formulation ignored the plain language of the statute.

Reyes v. Liberman Broadcasting, S205907—Review Granted & Held—December 12, 2012

The court ordered briefing deferred pending decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, S204032, which includes the issue of whether AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 563 U.S. __ [131 S. Ct. 1740, 179 L.Ed.2d 742] impliedly overruled Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443, with respect to contractual class action waivers in the context of non-waivable labor law rights. We previously discussed Iskanian here.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division One, held in a published opinion, Reyes v. Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 1537, that (1) the employment contract implicitly required individual, rather than class, arbitration; and (2) the National Labor Relations Act does not preclude class arbitration waivers in employment contracts.

City of Temecula v. Cooperative Patients Services, S206085—Review Granted & Held—December 12, 2012

The court ordered briefing deferred pending decision in City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patient’s Health & Wellness Center, Inc., S198638, which includes issues concerning preemption, under federal or state law, of local ordinances regulating or banning the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries and related activities.

The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Two, held in an unpublished opinion, City of Temecula v. Cooperative Patients Services, Inc., that the Temecula municipal ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries was not preempted by California’s Medical Marijuana Program Act or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

Robinson v. SSW, S206347—Review Granted & Held—December 12, 2012

The court ordered briefing deferred pending decision in Greb v. Diamond Internat. Corp., S183365, which presents the question of whether Corporations Code section 2010, which does not limit the time for bringing lawsuits against a dissolved corporation, applies to a dissolved foreign corporation, or does the corporate survival law of the state in which the foreign corporation was incorporated apply.

The Court of Appeal, First District, Division Three, held in a published opinion, Robinson v. SSW, Inc. (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 588, that a family’s wrongful death claim against a dissolved Nebraska corporation doing business in California was subject to Nebraska’s five year limit on claims against dissolved corporations, rather than California’s corporate survival statute.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

None.

Depublished

Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, S205875—Depublished Court of Appeal Opinion—December 12, 2012

The issues are: (1) whether employers are required to make meal breaks available, as opposed to requiring employers to ensure that employees take meal breaks; (2) whether the court was foreclosed from considering that threshold legal issue in determining whether individual issues predominated for the purpose of class certification; and (3) whether the trial court abused its discretion by determining that individual issues predominated, thereby defeating class certification.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, held in Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill (2012) 208 Cal.App.4th 1487: (1) that employers only need to provide employees with meal breaks; (2) the trial court was not foreclosed from considering this threshold legal issue in determining whether individual issues predominated for the purpose of class certification; and (3) that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying class certification as there was substantial evidence supporting the trial court’s conclusion.

Lamps Plus Overtime Cases, S206007—Depublished Court of Appeal Opinion—December, 12, 2012

The issues are: (1) whether employers are required to make meal breaks available, as opposed to ensuring that employees take meal breaks; (2) whether the court was foreclosed from considering that threshold legal issue in determining whether individual issues predominated for the purpose of class certification; and (3) whether the trial court abused its discretion by determining that the class representatives were inadequate.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, held in In re Lamps Plus Cases (2012) 209 Cal.App.4th 35: (1) that employers only need to provide employees with meal breaks; (2) the trial court properly considered this threshold legal issue in determining whether individual issues predominated for the purpose of class certification; and (3) that the trial court properly found the class representatives as inadequate because of their lack of credibility.

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