The Supreme Court today announced it will hear nine cases on its late-May calendar. (May is the only month with two argument calendars.) That’s as many arguments as on next week’s large early-May calendar, and it puts the court on pace to issue well over 50 opinions this term. (Through February, the term opinion output looked like it would be under 40. (See here and here.))

Also like the early-May calendar, the late-May session will include some momentous cases, including one on the constitutionality of Proposition 22, the initiative classifying app-based drivers as independent contractors instead of employees; another COVID insurance case; and a case about the Indian Child Welfare Act.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 21 and 22, in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or limited by the court itself):

Castellanos v. State of California: Two weeks after granting review in June 2023, the court limited the issue to: “Does Business and Professions Code section 7451, which was enacted by Proposition 22 (the ‘Protect App-Based Drivers and Services Act’), conflict with article XIV, section 4 of the California Constitution [which gives the Legislature the “plenary power . . . to create, and enforce a complete system of workers’ compensation”] and therefore require that Proposition 22, by its own terms, be deemed invalid in its entirety?” (Links added.) Responses to the (many) amicus briefs aren’t due until June 3, after the argument. More about the case here, here, here, and here.

John’s Grill, Inc. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.: (1) Is a grant of coverage for property loss or damage to covered property caused by a virus rendered illusory where it is limited by a condition that makes coverage applicable only if the virus is the result of one or more of a number of listed causes? (2) Is a conditional grant of coverage for property loss or damage to covered property caused by a virus, including the cost of removal of the virus, triggered by cleaning surfaces in the covered property that are contaminated by the virus in the absence of physical alteration of the property? The court granted review in March 2023. More about the case here. In March of this year, the court heard argument in another COVID insurance case, Another Planet Entertainment, LLC v. Vigilant Insurance Co., with an opinion expected by June 3.

Quach v. California Commerce Club: Does California’s test for determining whether a party has waived its right to compel arbitration by engaging in litigation remain valid after the United States Supreme Court decision in Morgan v. Sundance, Inc. (2022) _ U.S. _ [142 S.Ct. 1708]? The court granted review in August 2022. More about the case here.

In re Kenneth D.: May an appellate court take additional evidence to remedy the failure of the child welfare agency and the trial court to comply with the inquiry, investigation, and notice requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.; Welf. & Inst. Code, § 224 et seq.), and if so, what procedures must be followed? The court granted review in November 2022. More about the case here.

Downey v. City of Riverside: In order to recover damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress as a bystander to an automobile accident allegedly caused by dangerous conditions on nearby properties, must the plaintiff allege that she was contemporaneously aware of the connection between the conditions of the properties and the victim’s injuries? The court granted review in July 2023. More about the case here.

People v. McCune: Did the trial court exceed its jurisdiction by setting the amount of victim restitution after terminating defendant’s probation under Assembly Bill No. 1950 (Stats. 2020, ch. 328)? The court granted review in October 2022. More about the case here.

Rosenberg-Wohl v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company: When the court granted review in October 2023, it limited the issue to: “When a plaintiff files an action against the plaintiff’s insurer for injunctive relief under the Unfair Competition Law, which limitations period applies, the one-year limitations period authorized by Insurance Code section 2071 or the four-year statute of limitations in Business and Professions Code section 17208?” More about the case here. Horvitz & Levy is Supreme Court counsel for State Farm.

People v. Walker: When the court granted review in March 2023, it limited the issue to: “Does the amendment to Penal Code section 1385, subdivision (c) that requires trial courts to ‘afford great weight’ to enumerated mitigating circumstances (Stats. 2021, ch. 721) create a rebuttable presumption in favor of dismissing an enhancement unless the trial court finds dismissal would endanger public safety?” More about the case here.

Bailey v. San Francisco District Attorney’s Office: Did the Court of Appeal properly affirm summary judgment in favor of defendants on plaintiff’s claims of hostile work environment based on race, retaliation, and failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation? This is one of the oldest cases on the court’s docket; review was granted in December 2020. More about the case here. Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the defendants.

The arguments will be live streamed. Opinions in the cases should file by August 19.