Contrary to the suggestion of some news reports, the Court did not order this briefing sua sponte.
Rather, in late November, the California Employment Law Council (an employer-side organization) filed an application for leave to file a post-argument amicus curiae brief.
Post-argument briefing is highly unusual. The purported justification for CELC's application was Justice Baxter's question, posed to Brinker's counsel during the argument, about whether any of the Court's forthcoming rulings should apply prospectively only (rather than retrospectively in accordance with the general rule). The real point of the application could only have been to create an opportunity to re-argue the merits of the meal period timing issue, which the attorneys for CELC apparently believed Brinker was losing.
The Supreme Court granted this application in an order filed on December 2, 2011. The order granting the application also gave the parties leave to answer if they chose to do so. Our answer to CELC's post-argument brief was filed on January 3, 2012 (after the Court denied our application for an extension of the deadline), and Brinker's was filed a day later, on January 4, 2012. Simultaneous replies were filed on January 13, 2012.
When the Court granted CELC's application, it also issued an order vacating submission of the cause pursuant to Rule of Court 8.524(h)(1). This order stated that the cause would be resubmitted on January 13, 2012. No further order was issued on that date, so presumably the resubmission occurred automatically pursuant to this earlier order.
This re-starts the Court's 90-day period to hand down its opinion. The Court now has until approximately April 12, 2012 to rule (instead of early February, when the opinion would have been due otherwise). Of course, it may rule earlier.
Meanwhile, on December 16, 2011, Brinker applied for leave to file a supplemental brief pursuant to Rule of Court 8.520(d) to bring a federal district judge's order to the Court's attention. This again read primarily as an attempt to re-argue the merits of the case. The Court granted the application.
Here are links to the additional briefs:
- Application for Leave to File and Post-Argument Amicus Curiae Brief of California Employment Law Council (filed 12/02/11) (in support of the employer)
- Real Parties' Opposition to Application of California Employment Law Council to File Post-Argument Amicus Brief (filed 12/02/11)
- Supplemental Brief on Nguyen v. Baxter Healthcare (filed by Brinker 12/20/11)
- Real Parties' Answer to California Employment Law Council's Post-Argument Amicus Brief (filed 01/03/12)
- Brinker's Answer to California Employment Law Council's Post-Argument Amicus Brief (filed 01/04/12)
- Real Parties' Reply to Brinker's Answer to California Employment Law Council's Post-Argument Amicus Brief (filed 01/13/12)
- Brinker's Reply to Real Parties' Answer to California Employment Law Council's Post-Argument Amicus Brief (filed 01/13/12)