The Supreme Court today announced it would hear arguments in seven cases at its next calendar, the second of two calendars in May. May is the only month with more than one oral argument session.
This will be a heavier calendar than the court has had in a while. There haven’t been more than five arguments in a month since the court heard seven cases last June.
Like all calendars since April 2020, the late-May 2022 calendar will be remote and based in San Francisco. (See here, here, here, here, and here.) The arguments will be live streamed, as all arguments have been since May 2016.
On May 24 and 25, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or limited by the court itself):
Serova v. Sony Music Entertainment: (1) Do representations a seller made about a creative product on the product packaging and in advertisements during an ongoing controversy constitute speech in connection with an issue of public interest within the meaning of the anti-SLAPP statute (Code of Civ. Proc., § 425.16)? (2) For purposes of liability under the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.) and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (Civ. Code, § 1750 et seq.), do the seller’s marketing representations constitute commercial speech, and does it matter if the seller lacked personal knowledge that the representations were false? (See Kasky v. Nike, Inc. (2002) 27 Cal.4th 939.)” The court granted review — for a second time — in April 2020.
Zolly v. City of Oakland: Must city franchise fees that are subject to California Constitution, article XIII C, be reasonably related to the value of the franchise? The court granted review in August 2020. Two months ago, the court directed supplemental briefing on these questions: “(1) Does Cal. Const., art. XIII C, § 1, subdivision (e)(4) apply to the fees paid under the waste management contracts at issue in this case, and if so, why? (2) Are any other exemptions within article XIII C applicable to these fees?” The court granted review in August 2020. Horvitz & Levy has filed an amicus curiae brief in the case.
Brennon B. v. Superior Court: (1) Is a public school district a “business establishment” within the meaning of the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Civ. Code, § 51)? (2) Even if a public school district is not a “business establishment” under that Act, can it nevertheless be sued under the Act when the alleged discriminatory conduct is actionable under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.)? The court granted review in February 2021.
People v. Strong: Does a felony-murder special circumstance finding (Pen. Code, § 190.2, subd. (a)(17)) made before People v. Banks (2015) 61 Cal.4th 788 and People v. Clark (2016) 63 Cal.4th 522 preclude a defendant from making a prima facie showing of eligibility for relief under Penal Code section 1170.95? The court granted review in March 2021.
In re Milton: Do the limitations of People v. Gallardo (2017) 4 Cal.5th 120 on judicial fact-finding about the basis for a prior conviction apply retroactively to final judgments? (Compare In re Milton (2019) 42 Cal.App.5th 977 with In re Brown (2020) 45 Cal.App.5th 699.) The court granted review in March 2020.
People v. Morelos: This is an automatic direct appeal from a February 1996 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for death penalty appeals. Counsel was appointed in November 2001. Initial briefing was completed in September 2015.
People v. Tran: This is an automatic direct appeal from an August 2008 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for death penalty appeals. Counsel was appointed in April 2013. Initial briefing was completed in June 2019. Last December, the court ordered supplemental briefing on “the significance, if any, of Assembly Bill No. 333 (Stats. 2021, ch. 699), People v. Valencia (2021) 11 Cal.5th 818, and People v. Navarro (2021) 12 Cal.5th 285 to the issues presented in this case.” A second supplemental reply brief is due to file just six days before the argument.