At its Wednesday conference, the Supreme Court’s actions of note included:

  • The court granted review in Rockefeller Technology Investments (Asia) VII v. Changzhou Sinotype Technology Co., limiting the issue to this:  “Can private parties contractually agree to legal service of process by methods not expressly authorized by the Hague Convention?”  In a published opinion, the Second District, Division Three, Court of Appeal overturned a $414 million judgment that confirmed an arbitration award against a Chinese company.  The service at issue was of the summons and petition to confirm the award, and the appellate court held, “the Hague Service Convention does not permit Chinese citizens to be served by mail, nor does it allow parties to set their own terms of service by contract.”
  • The court also granted review in Skidgel v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.  Below, the First District, Division Five, in a published opinion, held that a mother caring for her disabled daughter under the state In-Home Supportive Services program was not covered by unemployment insurance.  The case involves two statutes:  on the one hand, the recipient of IHSS services is deemed the employer of the caregiver; on the other hand, an employee of a close family member is excluded from unemployment insurance coverage.
  • Using its deferential standard of review, the court approved another gubernatorial clemency recommendation request.  Governor Jerry Brown now has the authority to pardon David Drew, who is in prison for possession, transporting, selling of narcotics, furnishing marijuana and conspiracy.
  • The court asked for supplemental briefing in a death penalty appeal, People v. Miracle, which was argued on the September calendar.  The issue to be briefed is:  “Assuming that the term ‘counsel’ in the second sentence of Penal Code section 1018 does not encompass advisory counsel, does the statute violate the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution (see McCoy v. Louisiana (2018) 584 U.S. __ [138 S. Ct. 1500]; Faretta v. California (1975) 422 U.S. 806) in light of the Eighth Amendment’s requirement of reliability in death judgments (see Woodson v. North Carolina (1976) 428 U.S. 280; Beck v. Alabama (1980) 447 U.S. 625; People v. Bloom (1989) 48 Cal.3d 1194, 1228)?”
  • The court added one grant-and-hold criminal case to its docket, while shedding 25 others.  It also disposed of one civil grant-and-hold case.