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California Appellate Law Podcast - Jeff Lewis

Social Media and Jury Waiver High Court Cases, and Other Appellate News

Tim Kowal     April 2, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court provides awaited guidance on public officials’ use of social media, and the California Supreme Court gives a cautionary tale about waiving the right to a jury trial. Jeff and I discuss:

  • 📰Free Speech on Government Social Media: Lindke v. Freed (Mar. 15, 2024, No. 22-611), notable for being short and unanimous, holds that, when a public official talks about official business on a private social media page, it’s no longer a private social media page.
  • ⚖️Jury waivers: If you waive, and the trial judge declines to set aside the waiver, it’s game over: any right to appeal is symbolic only.
  • 🤷Also symbolic: the different between waiver and forfeiture. The difference, it is said, is that waiver is intentional. But the Court notes that waiver can also be unintentional. That pretty much obliterates any distinction between the terms, save for spelling.
  • 👎The facts were based solely on filed documents, not testimony. So appellate review is de novo, right? Wrong. Appellate courts don’t defer to fact-finding because the trial court is better at it. They defer because it’s not the appellate court’s job description.
  • ⛪A Church of Scientology case involving Leah Remini is poised for an anti-SLAPP appeal.

Appellate Specialist Jeff Lewis' biography, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed.

Appellate Specialist Tim Kowal's biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and YouTube page.

Sign up for Not To Be Published, Tim Kowal’s weekly legal update, or view his blog of recent cases.

The California Appellate Law Podcast thanks Casetext for sponsoring the podcast. Listeners receive a discount on Casetext Basic Research at casetext.com/CALP. The co-hosts, Jeff and Tim, were also invited to try Casetext’s newest technology, CoCounsel, the world’s first AI legal assistant. You can discover CoCounsel for yourself with a demo and free trial at casetext.com/CoCounsel.

Other items discussed in the episode:

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at CALpodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys. Contact Tim at [email protected] or (949) 676-9989.
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"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

— H.L. Mencken

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— Plato (427-347 B.C.)

"Counsel on the firing line in an actual trial must be prepared for surprises, including requests for amendments of pleading. They cannot ask that a judgment afterwards obtained be set aside merely because their equilibrium was slightly disturbed by an unexpected motion."

Posz v. Burchell (1962) 209 Cal.App.2d 324, 334

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