Stare Decisis and the “Wrongly Decided” Controlling Case

Yesterday, I posted about a mild barb at the trial court delivered by the Court of Appeal in Cuccia v. Superior Court, case no. B197278 (July 16, 2007). This post concerns the summary the Court of Appeal gave for how a California trial court should handle controlling precedent that it feels was wrongly decided.

A trial court has no choice in such a situation but to follow the case. But “the trial court should make a record articulating why it believes the binding opinion is erroneous and should be revisited by the appellate court which is free to either disagree with or overrule the opinion.”

The court stresses that this is not a hollow remedy, because the Court of Appeal can be influenced by a persuasive analysis by the trial court. It does take time, though.