I barely made it into the packed courtroom for the Duran argument yesterday. The bench was hot, and the tenor of the questions varied significantly from justice to justice, with the starkest contrast between Justices Werdegar and Liu, on the one hand, and Justices Baxter and Corrigan, on the other.
The Recorder's headline is "Justices Seek Middle Road on Sampling in Employment Class Action." The article posits that the court is unlikely to uphold the classwide judgment in the Duran case itself, but at the same time, precedents like Sav-on remain on solid ground. That is not an unreasonable assessment, as a broad, general summary of the import of the questioning. Yet we know from Brinker that the questioning does not always portend what we might expect.
Judges Carvill and Hernandez of the Alameda County Superior Court complex litigation departments were both in attendance, and I also saw Judge Carvill's research attorney, Mr. Stemmler. This case, as you know, challenges a series of rulings by their colleague, Judge Freedman.
I took detailed notes during the argument, but I have not had time to type them up because of the press of other business. I hope to have them up and posted soon. Meanwhile, here is an interesting report by attorney Bryan Schwartz, who was also in attendance. Bryan is one of the attorneys of record for CELA in this case.
The opinion is due in 90 days, or by Monday, June 2, 2014.