February 27, 2014

Summary of February 26, 2014 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, February 26, 2014.  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.

Review Granted

Poole v. Orange County Fire Authority, S215300—Review Granted—February 26, 2014

The question presented is whether daily logs, kept by a fire captain for the captain’s use in preparing annual evaluations of firefighters, fall under the ambit of the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights (FFBOR), Government Code section 3255, such that a firefighter may request to have negative comments deleted from the daily logs under Government Code section 3256.5, subdivision (c).

The Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, held in a published decision, Poole v. Orange County Fire Authority (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 155, that the daily logs qualified as files to be used for personnel purposes as contemplated by the FFBOR and therefore were subject to the protective procedures of the statute.

Horne v. International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, S215870—Review Granted and Held—February 26, 2014

The question presented is whether, in an employment discrimination case, the “after-acquired evidence” doctrine—which bars consideration of evidence bearing on an employer’s motive not to hire, which evidence was unknown to the employer at the time the decision not to hire was made—bars evidence that an applicant was not qualified for the position.

The Court of Appeal, First District, Division Four, held in a published opinion, Horne v. District Council 16 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 1132, that the after-acquired evidence doctrine did not bar admission of evidence of an applicant’s statutory disqualification for the position because the applicant first had to establish a prima facie case before the after-acquired evidence doctrine could apply.  The applicant was statutorily unqualified for the position, notwithstanding the employer’s lack of knowledge of the disqualification.  Therefore, summary judgment was proper because the applicant was unable to establish a prima facie case for racial discrimination. The Supreme Court granted review but deferred further action pending its consideration and disposition of a related issue in Salas v. Sierra Chemical, S196568.

Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court (Anderson), S216098—Review Granted and Transferred—February 26, 2014

The question presented is whether, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holdings in Daimler AG v. Bauman (2014) 571 U.S. ___ [134 S.Ct. 746] and Goodyear Dunlop Tire Operations, S.A. v. Brown (2011) 564 U.S. ___ [131 S.Ct. 2846, 180 L.Ed.2d 796], the federal Due Process Clause permits a California court to assert general jurisdiction over an out-of-state corporate defendant when California is neither the corporation’s principal place of business nor its state of incorporation.

The Supreme Court granted review and transferred the matter to the Court of Appeal, First District, Division Two, directing the court to vacate its order denying mandate and to issue an order to show cause why the defendant’s relief should not be granted.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)




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