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Tag: California Supreme Court

February 6, 2024
Kyle O’Malley, the Attorney Who Won the Raines’ Supreme Court Employee-Screening Case

Just a few years out of law school, Kyle O’Malley won a landmark case in the Supreme Court of California. The employer’s screening service in *Raines v. US Healthworks Medical Group*, 15 Cal.5th 268 (2023) used a generic questionnaire asking about menstrual cycles, hemorrhoids, hair loss, and all sorts of fool questions not tailored to […]

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June 2, 2023
Manson follower wins, Fr. Serra loses in Cal. courts: Legal News This Week Ending June 2, 2023

Here are some legal trends and trivia from this week: Justice Jackson, still in first year on SCOTUS, pens solo dissent in labor case Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters. First time a first-termer has penned a solo dissent since Justice Thomas in 1991. (Via Adam Feldman) Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who took […]

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December 14, 2022
Stipulated Briefing Extension Requests MUST Be Granted, Supreme Court Says

Have you ever felt the frustration of getting a stipulation from opposing counsel, only for the court to reject it? Well, when it comes to a briefing extension, the Supreme Court just ordered the Court of Appeal to give the full 60-day stipulated extension, and vacated the appellate court’s 46-day extension. In Aaronoff v. Olson, […]

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November 21, 2022
A denial of a clemency request in CA amounts to a finding of abuse of power

Clemency requests in California must be approved by the Supreme Court, and they are not always approved. Denials of clemency requests, says David Ettinger, are “essentially court determinations that the clemency grants would have been abuses of gubernatorial powers.” In one particular case back in 2019 concerning Joe Hernandez, a majority of the Supreme Court, […]

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November 11, 2022
Making Sense of the California Supreme Court's Publication Rules

“CEB has published” Tim Kowal, “Making Sense of the California Supreme Court's Publication Rules,” CEB (May 21, 2021), available at http://bit.ly/3Emu0AC. Attorneys are aware how important it is to confirm the precedential value of a recent published "smoking gun" decision on all fours with your case. One factor that can greatly disturb the citability of […]

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November 3, 2022
Gov Newsom appointed a new Supreme Court justice, but he should have nominated her

When Governor Gavin Newsom selected Justice Patricia Guerrero as the new Chief Justice, he also “appointed” Judge Kelli Evans to fill the empty seat. But there was some debate about whether the governor may “appoint” Evans, or whether instead he needed to “nominate” her, to be confirmed by the voters. Supreme Court-commentator David Ettinger has […]

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October 11, 2022
Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal Code 496 in Business-Tort Cases

CEB has republished my article, “Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal Code 496 in Business-Tort Cases,” about the recent decision in Siry Investment, L.P. v. Farkhondehpour (Cal. Jul. 21, 2022 No. S262081) 2022 WL 2840312. The PDF article is here: Tim Kowal_Supreme Court Affirms the Use of Powerful Civil-Theft Remedies Under Penal […]

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October 4, 2022
The Cal. Supreme Court’s Outgoing and Incoming Chief Justices, with David Ettinger

The California Supreme Court is getting a new chief justice. What does it mean? The author of prominent legal blog At the Lectern, David Ettinger, joins co-hosts Tim Kowal and Jeff Lewis to look back on Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s 11-year tenure, her legacy, her replacement, Justice Patricia Guerrero—and why is the governor “appointing” a […]

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September 29, 2022
Bees Are Fish, But Review Denials Are Not Precedent

In a bizarre ruling earlier this year, the Court of Appeal held that bumble bees are fish, at least for purposes of the California Endangered Species Act. (Jeff Lewis and I covered this in episode 38 of the California Appellate Law Podcast, and Prof. Shaun Martin’s writeup is here.) The California Supreme Court was asked […]

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September 7, 2022
Arbitration Not Waived by 13 Months of Litigation? Supreme Court to Weigh In

The California Supreme Court will review a surprising appellate court holding from earlier this year (writeup here; podcast here) that held that a defendant did not waive the right to arbitrate, even though the defendant had answered the complaint, served multiple sets of discovery, took the employee-plaintiff’s deposition, and otherwise happily litigated for 13 months […]

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"Moot points have to be settled somehow, once they get thrust upon us. If an assertion cannot be proved, then it must be settled some other way, and nearly all of these ways are unfair to somebody."

—T.H. White, The Once and Future King

"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

"Upon putting laws into writing, they became even harder to change than before, and a hundred legal fictions rose to reconcile them with reality."

— Will Durant

"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

— H.L. Mencken

Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.

Leviticus

"God made the angels to show Him splendor, … Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."

— Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons

"So far as the beginnings of law had theories, the first theory of liability was in terms of a duty to buy off the vengeance of him to whom an injury had been done whether by oneself or by something in one's power. The idea is put strikingly in the Anglo-Saxon legal proverb, 'Buy spear from side or bear it,' that is, buy off the feud or fight it out."

— Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

"At common law, barratry was 'the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up suits and quarrels' (4 Blackstone, Commentaries 134) and was punished as a misdemeanor."

Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

— James Madison, Federalist 62

"It may be that the court is thought to be excessively legalistic. I should be sorry to think that it is anything else."

— Hon. Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of Australia

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