The following is our summary of the Supreme Court’s actions on petitions for review in civil cases from the Court’s conferences on August 24 and 31, 2016. 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

Lopez v. Sony Electronics, S235357 – Review Granted- August 24, 2016

This case presents the following issue: Does the six-year limitations period in Code of Civil Procedure section 340.4, which governs actions based on birth and pre-birth injuries and is not subject to tolling for minority, or the two-year limitations period in Code of Civil Procedure section 340.8, which applies to actions for injury based upon exposure to a toxic substance and is subject to tolling for minority, govern an action alleging pre-birth injuries due to exposure to a toxic substance?

The Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, held in a published decision, Lopez v. Sony Electronics (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th 444, that a personal injury action based on prenatal exposure to toxic substances is governed by the statute providing that there is no tolling of the limitations period for birth and pre-birth injuries during the plaintiff’s minority.

Certified Question of State Law Accepted

Heller Ehrman LLP v. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, S236208 – Request to Answer State Law Question Granted– August 31, 2016

The Supreme Court agreed to the Ninth Circuit’s request to answer this certified question: Under California law, what interest, if any, does a dissolved law firm have in legal matters that are in progress but not completed at the time the law firm is dissolved, when the dissolved law firm had been retained to handle the matters on an hourly basis?  The federal district court’s opinion provides helpful background.

Review Denied (with dissenting justices)