The Judicial Council has now issued proposed new Rule of Court 1.12 to implement this decision. The Rule would designate the third Wednesday of each month from September 2009 through June 2010 as court closure days and would confirm that closure days are treated as court holidays for purposes of calculating filing deadlines. Comments on the proposed Rule are due on a very short timeframe -- by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 17.
I thought the July press coverage was unclear respecting whether the Supreme Court would also be subject to the closure days. The proposed Rule makes plain that the Supreme Court will be closed, like the rest of the courts, on the third Wednesdays. This will, presumably, disrupt the Court's existing conference schedule for the rest of this year, as well as for 2010, and require rescheduling of the conferences set for September 16, October 21, November 18, December 16, and a series of third-Wednesday conferences in 2010.
Incidentally, tomorrow's conference is the final one before the Court's extended deadline (Aug. 14) to rule on the petition for rehearing in Tobacco. So check back here tomorrow for more on that.
I'm coming up on a particularly busy period at work and am therefore putting the blog on hiatus once again. You can always reach me at my office by phone (415-788-4220) or by email at [email protected]. I will interrupt the hiatus for significant events of interest (such as the Ninth Circuit's Dukes v. Wal-Mart ruling or any ruling on the Tobacco rehearing petition).
One thing I hope to follow is trial courts' application of the Tobacco case. If you learn of any trial-level rulings (state or federal) addressing Tobacco, please forward them. I can post them online for everyone's benefit, as I did back in 2004 when the trial courts started ruling on the Prop. 64 retroactivity question. I will probably interrupt my hiatus to do this if I receive copies of orders. Thanks!
The African race was not in the contemplation of the framers of the Constitution when privileges and immunities were provided for the protection of the citizen. Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1856).
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. U.S. Const., Amend. XIII, §1 (1865).
When the legislature gave to this court the power of granting licenses to practice law, it was with not the slightest expectation that this privilege would be extended to women. In re Bradwell, 55 Ill. 535 (1869).
No person shall on account of sex be disqualified from entering upon or pursuing any lawful business, vocation, or profession. Cal. Const., Art. XX, §18 (1879).
All marriages of white persons with negroes, Mongolians, or mulattoes are illegal and void. Cal. Civ. Code §60 (1933).
The right to marry is the right of individuals, not of racial groups. The equal protection clause does not refer to rights of the Negro race, the Caucasian race, or any other race, but to the rights of individuals. Perez v. Sharp, 32 Cal.2d 711 (1948).
Times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003) (Kennedy, J.).
In light of the fundamental nature of the right to marry, the California Constitution must be interpreted to guarantee this right to all individuals and couples, without regard to their sexual orientation. In re Marriage Cases, 43 Cal.4th 757 (2008).
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Cal. Const., Art. 1, §7.5 (2008).
Having been approved by a majority of the voters at the November 4, 2008 election, the initiative measure lawfully amends the California Constitution to include the new provision as article I, section 7.5. Strauss v. Horton, ___ Cal.4th ___ (May 26, 2009) (slip op. at 12).
[Prop. 8] reserv[es] the official designation of the term “marriage” for the union of opposite-sex couples as a matter of state constitutional law, but leav[es] undisturbed all of the other extremely significant substantive aspects of a same-sex couple’s state constitutional right to establish an officially recognized and protected family relationship and the guarantee of equal protection of the laws. Id. (slip op. at 7).
Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement. Perry v. Schwarzenegger, ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (N.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2010).
The blog will be on hiatus for a few weeks, interrupted for significant events such as the Tobacco decision. Although I'm taking a brief break from blogging, I'm not taking a break from working. You can reach me by phone at my office (415-788-4220) or by email ([email protected]). Stay in touch!
This morning, the Supreme Court is hearing oral argument in Los Angeles in Miller v. Bank of America. Right now I'm not expecting to receive a report on that argument.
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is hearing oral argument in the Amalgamated and Arias cases, also in Los Angeles. I have a reporter lined up to cover those arguments, and hope to be able to post her report here on Thursday.
Today, I'm speaking at the SFTLA's Wage & Hour seminar in San Francisco. The seminar runs from noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel at 450 Powell St. (registration begins at 11:30). This event is open to plaintiffs' attorneys only. It costs $120 ($105 for SFTLA, SCCTLA, or ACCTLA members) and offers two hours of MCLE credit. My co-speakers are Todd Schneider, Eve Cervantez, and Jonathan Gertler. On-site registration is still available.
After the reports on Amalgamated and Arias go up on Thursday, the blog will be on hiatus for several weeks. I will interrupt the hiatus for significant news, such as if the Tobacco decision comes down early. You can continue to reach me by phone or email during this time.
The Supreme Court's appellate case information page was down for server maintenance on Tuesday, March 31 (a court holiday in observation of Cesar Chavez Day). Apparently, some sort of alteration was made that changed the links to all of the case information pages. As a result, all of my links to those pages throughout my blog are now broken (as are my favorites in my web browser). The same thing happened when the Ninth Circuit updated its website. That update broke all of my links to Ninth Circuit opinions. I forgave them because they also started publishing an RSS feed.
I'm not going to be able to go back and correct all of the broken links, but I will try to gradually fix the important ones, particularly those on my pending cases page.
I have been reliably informed that the deadline to submit your application (including letters of recommendation) to become a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar's Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section (as well as the other Sections) has been extended from February 2 to February 17, 2009. See this blog post for more information.
Those of you with Kindle devices may now subscribe to The UCL Practitioner via Amazon and take the blog with you wherever you go. Appropriately, I will receive royalties on any such subscriptions (the bargain price is $0.99/mo.). Sometimes, I think I should turn the entire blog into a paid subscription service. Of course, I would allow judges and their research attorneys free access. And I would certainly charge more than $0.99/mo.!
As a reminder, this coming Monday, February 2, 2009, is the deadline to submit your application (including letters of recommendation) to become a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar's Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section. See this blog post for more info.
The Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California is seeking applicants for its Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee serve a three-year term which would begin in September 2009. Applications (including letters of recommendation) are due on February 2, 2009. This is a competitive application process and involves a formal appointment by the State Bar Board of Governors. More information, including the application form, is available at the State Bar's website.
I am a current member of the Executive Committee; my three-year term began this past September. We expect to be filling about six vacancies as some of the current members' terms expire. I would encourge qualified persons to apply, particularly those who specialize in handling UCL cases (as distinct from antitrust cases). Most of the current committee members are antitrust specialists, so those with significant experience handling UCL cases would be particularly welcome applicants. The one limitation is that if someone else from your law firm is already a member of the Committee, you are not eligible. Also, past participation in Section activities is a factor considered in the appointment process.
Class action attorney H. Scott Leviant, author of the blog The Complex Litigator, is exploring new opportunities in the Los Angeles area. If you are thinking about expanding your practice, you should get in touch with him. I've met Scott a couple of times, most recently during a meeting of CAOC's newly-formed class action practice group last month. All you have to do is read his blog to observe his writing skills and analytical abilities in action. His blog also reflects a strong work ethic. He strikes me as an attorney with a healthy level of drive and ambition who would make a great addition to any plaintiff-side class action firm in the Southern California area.
Don't forget to vote! I voted this morning and only had to wait an hour in line. I would have thought that was bad if I hadn't seen the really long lines on TV.
UPDATE: It is 9:43 p.m. Barack Obama has won the election and this city is cheering. Literally, the cheers and the car horns are echoing up the sides of the hill on which I live, from across the city. It is like ten New Year's Eves.
Happy Labor Day! The blog will be on hiatus until the week of September 15. Please continue to email me ([email protected]) with decisions, news, comments, questions, etc. For anyone who is interested, don't forget that the Supreme Court will be hearing oral argument on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. in the Vasquez attorneys' fees case. I would be happy to post anyone's notes on the argument (with or without attribution).
I'm planning to resume regular blogging this week. I'm going to go through my stack of cases and other blog-related material in chronological order (more or less) until we're back up to date. I'll start on Monday with a Ninth Circuit UCL opinion from February. I'll then move to a Court of Appeal decision from May, then on Wednesday I'll be into the cases from June (of which there are quite a few). I will break into the chronological sequence with any significant new developments, such as important Supreme Court activity. I already have enough material sitting on my desk for more than a month's worth of blog posts!
This is way off topic, but the Supreme Court will be handing down its eagerly-anticipated decision in In re Marriage Cases, no. S147999, today at 10:00 a.m. Some of the briefs from the case are collected at this link. When the opinion is posted, it should be available here: In re Marriage Cases, ___ Cal.4th ___ (May 15, 2008). This is the issue on review:
Does California's statutory ban on marriage between two persons of the same sex violate the California Constitution by denying equal protection of the laws on the basis of sexual orientation or sex, by infringing on the fundamental right to marry, or by denying the right to privacy and freedom of expression?
UPDATE: The Supreme Court, by a vote of 4-3, has answered that question in the affirmative:
Accordingly, in light of the conclusions we reach concerning the constitutional questions brought to us for resolution, we determine that the language of [Family Code] section 300 limiting the designation of marriage to a union “between a man and a woman” is unconstitutional and must be stricken from the statute, and that the remaining statutory language must be understood as making the designation of marriage available both to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
I liked this Forum article (subscription) from last Monday's Daily Journal. Former Orange County Superior Court Judge William Scheffield is very enthusiastic about the legal profession, particularly litigation, as a calling. He also articulates an interesting perspective on the advocate's role:
Some may say law is a science and a litigator a scientist. Don't believe them. What happens in the courtroom is art, not science. A litigator is an artist, a sculptor. Who wins in the courtroom depends on which litigator can best shape the perspective of the decision maker. A litigator's job is to sculpt the perspective of the juror or judge in a way that harmonizes with his or her side of the case by leading the juror back in time - recreating the past, weaving facts and law in a way leading toward his or her client's perspective. The difference between science and art is that in science - take mathematics - two plus two is always four. A good litigator might argue it's five. Litigation is about shaping perspective using the artistry of persuasion. Getting at "truth" requires you taking the juror or judge as you recreate and reshape the past - without instant replay, video or crystal ball and, not to be pejorative, spin. I tell litigants that there really is no "truth" in the courtroom, only perspective. This makes the courtroom risky business. With good lawyers on each side sculpting the past, what begins for the client as a black-and-white, dead-bang winner turns to gray when the spinning is spun. There are two certainties in the courtroom: You don't know what's going to happen, and whatever does happen will be expensive.
On Janury 30, 2008, the Daily Journal had a short article (subscription) about a document that sounds very handy for those of us practicing in the Central District of California, which just adopted mandatory e-filing rules for virtually all civil cases (seeC.D. Cal. Gen. Order 08-02 (superseding Gen. Order 07-08)). Attorney Martin W. Anderson has made our lives easier by creating "The Unofficial E-Filing Manual for the United States District Court, Central District of California," available for free download at his site. According to the Daily Journal article, "The guide is loaded with tips about the ins and outs of civil e-filing in the Central District. It details the specific submission procedures for 30 unique types of civil filings, from complaints to proposed judgments." Thanks, Martin!
UPDATE: A couple of the links were broken in this post. Have fixed them, including the link to Gen. Order 07-08, which has been superseded by C.D. Cal. Gen. Order 08-02 (dated February 7, 2008). Thanks to the reader who emailed me about this problem.
I'm pleased to announce that I will be a member of the Board of Governors of Consumer Attorneys of California in 2008. I'm looking forward to working more closely with CAOC over the coming year, and I would encourage all plaintiffs' attorneys to join. CAOC works very hard to advance and protect our collective interests and those of our clients. Being a CAOC member has been more rewarding to me than any other professional association that I've joined to date.
Additionally, I am on the CAOC amicus curiae committee. If you represent the plaintiffs and need amicus support in a pending appellate matter, particularly in the California Supreme Court, please visit the amicus committee page for more information on the CAOC's amicus program and how to submit your request for amicus assistance.
I am still looking for updated information regarding the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District, Division One. New Court of Appeal opinions continue to appear online, including one dated today from that Division.
I have co-counsel as well as friends in the San Diego area and have been quite concerned since Monday.
I have heard from two sources, but have been unable to confirm, that because of the emergency situation in San Diego County, the Supreme Court issued the following statement at some point yesterday:
Pursuant to the Order of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Chair of the California Judicial Council, October 22, 2007 and October 23, 2007 are deemed holidays for purposes of computing the time for filing papers with the Court and for purposes of computing time under Title 8 of the California Rules of Court.
Again, I have not confirmed this and cannot find such an order online. I have also heard that the San Diego County Superior Court was closed yesterday and is also closed today. If you are down in the San Diego area, stay safe.
I would like to encourage those of you who are CAOC members to cast your vote in the 2007 CAOC Board election. Online voting is now open and the last day to vote is next Monday, October 22. It is particularly important for members of District 3 (Los Angeles County), District 11 (San Mateo County), and District 12 (San Francisco County) to vote because the race for Board of Governors is contested in those three Districts. Also, three of the four statewide Vice President races are contested. The CAOC's website has detailed candidate statements for the candidates in the contested races. If you go to that site you will see my candidate statement. I'm running for the Board of Governors in District 12, and would appreciate your vote! Please go online and vote today!