Today's Recorder has a very interesting article (subscription) about the increase in the number of published Court of Appeal opinions since April 1, when the Rule of Court governing publication (Rule 8.1105) was amended. According to the article, "[p]reliminary figures show that during the first 2 1/2 months after an amended rule on publication took effect April 1, the number of decisions published by the state's six appellate courts rose 35 percent."
The article also quotes several Court of Appeal justices on their approach to publication under the new rule:
[T]he Second District's H. Walter Croskey has the distinction of publishing the most rulings under the amended rules. According to The Recorder's count, Croskey published seven rulings between April 1 and June 15 of this year.
Croskey noted, though, that under the amended rule he and his colleagues seem more inclined to grant attorneys' requests to publish a ruling that was initially issued unpublished. "We give it a broader interpretation," he said.
In fact, by The Recorder's reckoning the six appellate courts chose to publish 41 rulings between April 1 and June 15 of this year that were originally unpublished. That compares to 23 for the same time period in 2006.
Not only numbers have changed, Croskey said, but so have the justices' attitudes.
"The difference in the new rules essentially is that, before you had to provide literally a reason to publish," he said. "Now the bias seems to have switched and you have to almost have a reason not to publish. That's my way of looking at it."