Stare Decisis

The Tip of the Stare Decisis Iceberg

That’s how Ben Shatz describes his article on stare decisis at the Los Angeles County Bar Association website. It is a fast read and a great introduction to a doctrine that has far more wrinkles in it than most people think. Every lawyer who gets anywhere near a courtroom should read it.

One of the points Ben raises is that there is no lateral stare decisis in the California Court of Appeal. One district is free to depart from a decision from another district, or even from prior decisions from other panels in the same district.

As I pointed out in a recent post, you can take on adverse Court of Appeal precedent no matter how squarely it seems to hold against you. A Court of Appeal is free to depart from a case that is wrongly decided, and might even be hoping for you to give them a good reason to do so.

One Comment

  • Joe Norman

    What is the solution when a Federal District court judge contradicts decisional law that he personally wrote and became Circuit law? The Plaintiff’s were diffferent , Defendant lawyers were the same–that is