There were no straight grants at the Supreme Court’s conference yesterday, the third time that’s happened over the last four conferences. At those four conferences, the court has straight-granted review in just one case. Actions of note at yesterday’s conference included:

  • Supreme Court allows Scientology lawsuit to proceed in civil court rather than religious arbitration.
  • Supreme Court OKs commutation of long robbery sentence.
  • Economic loss rule: The court granted-and-held in Kia America, Inc. v. Superior Court, deferring action pending a decision in Rattagan v. Uber Technologies, Inc., which is expected to answer the Ninth Circuit’s question, “Under California law, are claims for fraudulent concealment exempted from the economic loss rule?” The Kia America case came to the court after the Fourth District, Division One, Court of Appeal summarily denied defendant Kia’s writ petition. According to Kia’s reply to the answer to the petition for review (the only document I found online), plaintiff agreed that the court should grant Kia’s petition for review, “correctly point[ing] out . . . this case involves facts different from — and far more common than — the facts at issue in Rattagan“, and “both parties agree that review in Rattagan alone is not likely to answer all the questions about application of the economic-loss rule that continue to plague courts and litigants in California.”
  • Moral turpitude. In Stroj on Discipline, the court ordered the State Bar “to consider whether a violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1955 (prohibiting illegal bookmaking businesses) is a crime of moral turpitude per se, whether or not ‘cheating’ is involved. (See In re Stroj on Discipline (Review Dept., Oct. 15, 2021, No. SBC-21-C-30446) p. 2.) Regardless of its conclusion on this legal issue, the State Bar is further directed to hold a hearing to consider whether the facts and circumstances underlying petitioner’s conviction of 18 U.S.C. section 1955 involve moral turpitude, and to report to this court regarding its review and recommendations.”
  • Pokémon no-go: The court denied review in Lozano v. City of Los Angeles, where the Second District, Division Three, in a published opinion, rejected the attempt of two former police officers to overturn their firings. They were terminated for ignoring a call to assist on a department store robbery in progress, instead playing the Pokémon Go video game. The former officers unsuccessfully argued that in-car video system evidence documenting their conduct was improperly used against them.
  • Criminal case grant-and-holds. There were five criminal case grant-and-holds: one more holding for a decision in People v. Strong (see here), one more holding for People v. Delgadillo (see here), two holding for People v. Curiel (see here), and one holding for People v. Padilla (see here), which was argued last month.
  • Disposal of grant-and-holds. Six cases were sent back to the Courts of Appeal for reconsideration in light of recently enacted Senate Bill 483; two had been waiting for both the June decision in People v. Esquivel and for a decision in People v. Hernandez, which was itself transferred for reconsideration in light of SB 483, and four had been waiting for only Hernandez. The court dumped 12 cases that had been waiting for January’s opinion in People v. Tirado (2022) 12 Cal.5th 688; nine were transferred for reconsideration in light of Tirado and review was dismissed in the other three.