Notable actions at yesterday’s Supreme Court conference included:

Disbarred felon, who was pardoned by Trump, is reinstated to practice law

Ambulances and MICRA. The court agreed to hear Gutierrez v. Tostado to review a 2-1 published Sixth District Court of Appeal opinion that found untimely a lawsuit by a driver injured when his car was rear-ended by an ambulance transporting a patient. The action was filed before expiration of the general two-year personal injury statute of limitations (Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1), but beyond the one-year period in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act that applies to “an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence” (section 340.5). The majority held that the shorter MICRA limit applied because the ambulance driver “was a medical provider rendering professional services at the time the alleged negligence occurred.” The dissent claimed the majority’s “interpretation extends MICRA’s statute of limitations unpredictably and unfairly.”

[March 23 update: The Gutierrez issue, as summarized by court staff, is: “Does the one-year statute of limitations in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA; Code Civ. Proc., § 340.5) apply to a personal injury claim alleging that the plaintiff’s vehicle was struck by a negligently driven ambulance?”]

ADA complaints and the UCL. The court denied depublication requests by the Attorney General and two district attorneys in People v. Potter Handy, LLP (there was no petition for review), but Justices Joshua Groban and Kelli Evans recorded votes for the court to grant review on its own motion. The First District, Division Three, opinion held the litigation privilege (Civil Code section 47(b)) precluded an action brought by the district attorneys under the state’s unfair competition law for — as Division Three described it — the filing of “countless complaints” that allege violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, but that “contain standing allegations [known] to be false” and that are filed “as part of a shakedown scheme to extract coerced settlements from small business owners.” However, the appellate court said the defendant is not out of the woods: “Carving out an exception to the litigation privilege for the People’s UCL claim would not be proper because the Legislature’s prescribed remedies—[criminal] prosecution directly under section 6128(a) and State Bar disciplinary proceedings—remain viable.” (Link added.)

Police officer personnel record. The court granted the petition for review in Banuelos v. Superior Court and sent the matter back to the Second District, Division Eight, which had summarily denied a writ petition filed by a murder defendant. The writ petition challenges a superior court protective order barring the public availability — as opposed to use only in the defendant’s case — of records showing a police officer’s dishonesty. The issue seems to be whether Evidence Code section 1045(e) — providing that “[t]he court shall, in any case or proceeding permitting the disclosure or discovery of any peace or custodial officer records . . . , order that the records disclosed or discovered may not be used for any purpose other than a court proceeding pursuant to applicable law” — shields records of officer dishonesty that Penal Code section 832.7(b)(1)(C) says “shall not be confidential and shall be made available for public inspection pursuant to the California Public Records Act.”

TV judge: The court denied review in Switzer v. Big Ticket Pictures Inc., where TV law met the real thing. The Second District, Division Two, unpublished opinion affirmed a defense summary judgment concerning a dispute the appellate court described this way: “developers on the first season of the Judge Judy television show sued on the ground that a recent sale of the library of episodes triggered their right to a lump sum cash-out payment of $4.95 million (rather than continuing to receive an income stream of residuals).”

Criminal case grant-and-hold. There was just one criminal case grant-and-hold, another case waiting for a decision in People v. Patton (see here).