March 21, 2013

Summary of March 20, 2013 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, March 20, 2013. 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

Cordova v. City of Los Angeles, S208130—Review Granted and Issues Limited—March 20, 2013

The question presented is limited to whether a government entity can be liable where it is alleged that a dangerous condition of public property caused the injury the plaintiff suffered in an accident, but did not cause the third party conduct that led to the accident.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division One, held in a published opinion, Cordova v. City of Los Angeles (2012) 212 Cal.App.4th 243, that there was no public liability because there was no causal connection between the alleged defective condition and the third party conduct that injured the plaintiff.

Baltazar v. Forever 21, Inc., S208345—Review Granted & Held—March 20, 2013

The question presented is whether an arbitration clause in an employment application is unenforceable as substantively unconscionable for lack of mutuality.

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division One, held in a published opinion Baltazar v. Forever 21, Inc., (2012) 212 Cal.App.4th 221, that the arbitration agreement was not substantively unconscionable for lack of mutuality because: (1) the agreement did not exempt any claims of the employer from arbitration nor was the availability of injunctive relief tied to specific claims; (2) the employer was not more likely than the employee to seek injunctive relief; and (3) injunctive relief is available under agreements like this one that are covered by the California Arbitration Act. Similar issues are before the Court in Wisdom v. Accentcare, S200128.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)

None.

Depublished

Singh v. Davi, S208102—Depublished Court of Appeal Opinion—March 20, 2013

The issue in this case was whether the Commissioner of the Department of Real Estate properly denied the applicant a real estate broker’s license based on a ruling of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that the license should be denied due to the nature of the applicant’s past crime.

The Court of Appeal, Third District, held in Singh v. Davi (2012) 211 Cal.App.4th 141, that the denial of the broker’s license was a prejudicial abuse of discretion because the denial was based on the nature of the applicant’s past crime rather than on a finding that the applicant was insufficiently rehabilitated.

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