The Supreme Court yesterday announced a nine-case early-May calendar. May is the only month with two different argument calendars.

All justices and counsel will participate remotely in the arguments which will be live streamed. Opinions in the cases should file by August 7.

The early-May calendar is larger than recent ones. There haven’t been this many arguments during one week since the 10-case June 2020 calendar.

Also noteworthy is the early-May calendar’s lack of death penalty cases. There hasn’t been an automatic capital appeal since the one on the February calendar.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9 and 10, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or limited by the court itself; additional information about each case can be found at the links showing when the court agreed to hear the case):

Kuciemba v. Victory Woodworks: In June 2022, the court agreed to answer these questions for the Ninth Circuit: “1. If an employee contracts COVID-19 at his workplace and brings the virus home to his spouse, does California’s derivative injury doctrine bar the spouse’s claim against the employer? 2. Under California law, does an employer owe a duty to the households of its employees to exercise ordinary care to prevent the spread of COVID-19?”

Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc.: Shortly after the court granted review in July 2022, it limited the issue to: “Whether an aggrieved employee who has been compelled to arbitrate claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) that are ‘premised on Labor Code violations actually sustained by’ the aggrieved employee (Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 596 U.S. __, __ [142 S.Ct. 1906, 1916] (Viking River Cruises); see Lab. Code, §§ 2698, 2699, subd. (a)) maintains statutory standing to pursue ‘PAGA claims arising out of events involving other employees’ (Viking River Cruises, at p. __ [142 S.Ct. at p. 1916]) in court or in any other forum the parties agree is suitable.”

Family Health Centers of San Diego v. State Department of Health Care Services: Are community outreach service expenses incurred by a qualified health center reimbursable as allowable costs under Medi-Cal as related to patient care, or are they non-reimbursable advertising to increase patient utilization? The court granted review in November 2021.

Boermeester v. Carry: After granting review — and depublishing the Court of Appeal’s opinion — in September 2020, the court limited review to: “1. Under what circumstances, if any, does the common law right to fair procedure require a private university to afford a student who is the subject of a disciplinary proceeding with the opportunity to utilize certain procedural processes, such as cross-examination of witnesses at a live hearing?  2. Did the student who was the subject of the disciplinary proceeding in this matter waive or forfeit any right he may have had to cross-examine witnesses at a live hearing?  3. Assuming it was error for the university to fail to provide the accused student with the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses at a live hearing in this matter, was the error harmless?” It later added another issue:  “What effect, if any, does Senate Bill No. 493 (2019-2020 Reg. Sess.) have on the resolution of the issues presented by this case?”  (Link added.)  Horvitz & Levy represents the defendants in the Supreme Court.

California Medical Association v. Aetna Health of California, Inc.: (1) Does an organization that expends resources and diverts them from other activities in order to counteract a defendant’s allegedly unfair competition practices satisfy the requirement of injury in fact or lost money or property in order to have standing to bring an action under the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.)? (2) Does organizational standing depend on whether the organization has members who are also injured by the practices and who would also benefit from the requested relief? The court granted review in July 2021.

People v. Carney: When the court granted review in March 2020, it limited the issues to:  “Does the ‘substantial concurrent causation’ theory of liability of People v. Sanchez (2001) 26 Cal.4th 834 permit a conviction for first degree murder if the defendants did not fire the shot that killed the victim?  What impact, if any, do People v Chiu (2014) 59 Cal.4th 155 and Senate Bill No. 1437 (Stats. 2018, ch. 1015, § 1, subd. (f)) have on the rule of Sanchez?” In October 2021, the court asked for supplemental briefing to address “the significance, if any, of Senate Bill No. 775 (Stats. 2021, ch. 551) to the issues presented in this case.”  (Link added.)  The legislation codifies in part and clarifies in part the Supreme Court’s decision in People v. Lewis (2021) 11 Cal.5th 952.  (See here.)

Quishenberry v. UnitedHealthcare, Inc.: After granting review in January 2022, the court limited the issues to: “1. Are plaintiff’s claims for negligence, elder abuse, and wrongful death expressly preempted by the Medicare Part C preemption clause (42 U.S.C. § 1395w-26(b)(3))? 2. Are plaintiff’s claims for negligence, elder abuse, and wrongful death impliedly preempted based on the doctrine of ‘obstacle preemption’ (People ex rel. Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc. (2014) 59 Cal.4th 772, 778; see also Solus Industrial Innovations, LLC v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 316, 345-346)?”

People v. Martinez: In March 2021, the court ordered review on its own motion and limited the issue to:  “Did the Court of Appeal correctly declare California Code of Regulations, title 10, section 2076, unconstitutional on its face?”  (Link added.) Simplified, the regulation prohibits people in the bail business from arranging to get information from others about arrests or criminal complaints.

[May 17 update: Submission of the case is being delayed for post-argument briefing (see here) about the relevance of two federal Court of Appeals opinions “to determining the level of First Amendment scrutiny applicable to the challenged regulation in this case.” Today’s court order says, “At oral argument, counsel indicated they had not received the court’s focus letter, dated April 26, 2023, asking them to be prepared to discuss [the opinions].”]

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court: The court granted review in July 2022 and limited the issue to: “Is Santa Clara County immune under the Government Claims Act (Gov. Code, § 810 et seq.) from an action seeking reimbursement for emergency medical care provided to persons covered by the county’s health care service plan?” Horvitz & Levy represents the real parties in interest in the Supreme Court.