• California Court of Appeal,  California Courts,  e-Filing,  Legal Technology

    TrueFiling comes to the Second District Court of Appeal

    Perhaps the title of this post should be the other way around: The Second District Court of Appeal comes to TrueFiling. Although the The Second District has had e-filing for some document sin place for several years, it appears to be the last appellate court in the state to embrace e-filing of everything via TrueFiling. With the upgrade come some new formatting requirements that were previously only suggestions. Electronically filed documents must now include electronic bookmarks to “to each heading, subheading and component of the document, such as the table of contents, table of authorities, petition, verification, points and authorities, declaration, certificate of word count, certificate of interested entities or persons, and…

  • Announcements,  California Courts,  e-Filing,  Legal Technology

    Second District Court of Appeal to implement TrueFiling e-filing system in late 2016

    According to a notice I received today from the California Appellate Project: The clerk of the 2nd District Court of Appeal has asked us to inform the panel that True Filing will be available in this district beginning in November.  For two months, November and December, True Filing will coexist with the present eFiling system presently being used in the district.  The choice of which to use will be yours.  Then, in January, the present eFiling system will disappear, and everyone will be required to use True Filing.  Those of you already working in other districts with True Filing will definitely have a leg up on the rest of us.…

  • California Courts,  California Supreme Court

    Insight into the Supreme Court’s decisions on whether to hear cases

    The Los Angeles Times has a story today on Justice Goodwin Liu, or, more particularly, on how his two recent lengthy dissents from orders denying review give some insight into what the court’s reasoning was. Usually, an order denying review is quite terse and gives no clue as to why the court reached its decision not to grant review. Justice Liu’s recent dissents, according to the article, shed some insight on the decision-making in those cases, but I’m afraid the article doesn’t do very well at explaining how. The passages it cites from the dissents demonstrate why Justice Liu was in favor of granting review by showing what he was thinking, but…

  • Briefing,  California Courts,  Legal Research,  Legal Writing

    It is important to keep up with the law while your appeal is pending

    Most lawyers I know — at both the trial level and the appellate level — keep up with the daily “advance sheets,” which provide a brief summary of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal decisions published the day before. It is an important habit, because you never know when a great decision for your pending case is going to come up. For a great example, see Miranda v. Anderson Enterprises, Inc., case no. A140328 (1st Dist., Oct. 15, 2015), where the plaintiff/appellant gained the benefit of a Supreme Court decision that came out while his appeal was pending. The Supreme Court case, Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348, required reversal of the judgment that…

  • Announcements,  California Courts,  Record on Appeal

    Are records on appeal from the Los Angeles Superior Court about to get better?

    The headline is not a dig at anyone at the Los Angeles Superior Court (LASC). It refers to the impact of the statewide court budget crunch, which led many courts to stop providing court reporters as a matter of course. Faced with having to engage court reporters on their own, some litigants were foregoing the expense, at risk of having records inadequate to prosecute their appeals. As a result, parties are appealing decisions without the reporter’s transcript that they would have been able to order under the old system. That can spell trouble for an appeal. Last Friday, the LASC announced that it is hiring court reporters. Actually, I can’t tell…

  • California Courts,  California Supreme Court,  Judges

    Justice Kennard retiring April 5

    Justice Joyce Kennard has announced her retirement from the California Supreme Court effective April 5, on which she will mark the 25th anniversary of her appointment. The article at the San Francisco Chronicle gives people a glimpse into  Justice Kennard’s drive and perseverence: Kennard was born in the East Indies and, as a child, was held along with her mother in a refugee camp in Java during World War II. They moved to the Netherlands after the war, and as a teenager Kennard had a leg amputated above the knee after developing a tumor. She came to the United States in 1961, found work as a secretary, and put herself…

  • California Courts,  California Supreme Court

    A Chief’s-eye view of the California Supreme Court

    Today marks the release of an interview-style memoir from former California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, Chief: The Quest for Justice in California. A front-page article in today’s Los Angeles Times gives you a glimpse into a few themes in the 822-page book. One: a court funding crisis — though not of the same magnitude as the one faced today — was never far off at any given time: When Ronald M. George served as chief justice of California, he pleaded annually with legislators for money to run the courts, warning the loss of funds would compromise justice. But he said he learned that some lawmakers took positions on the budget…

  • California Court of Appeal,  California Courts,  Courts,  Judges

    Four added to pool of prospective First District Justices

    The Recorder reports on three judges Governor Brown has asked to have evaluated for vacancies on the First District Court of Appeal. Brown has asked the State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation to vet San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Diana Becton and ACLU staff attorney Linda Lye for openings on the San Francisco-based appellate court. Therese Stewart of the San Francisco city attorney’s office is also being evaluated by the commission. Of course, everything will remain up in the air for a while. Submission of a name to the commission usually indicates serious interest on the governor’s part, though there are…

  • California Court of Appeal,  California Courts,  California Supreme Court

    Some Highlights from the 2013 Court Statistics Report

    Would you like to know how busy Court of Appeal justices are? Maybe you’re curious instead about the odds of getting that writ petition you’re considering heard on the merits. Those curious about court statistics have a friend in the Judicial Council of California, which publishes annual statistical reports and has release its 2013 Court Statistics Report: Statewide Caseload Trends 2002–2003 through 2011–2012 (available as a PDF and in an MP3 audio format). The report covers data through the close of fiscal year 2012. (All references to years are to fiscal years.) I finally got a chance to look at it over the weekend, and here are a few of…

  • California Court of Appeal,  California Courts,  California Supreme Court,  Judges

    Riverside Appeals Court goes 3-for-3 with the Supremes

    That’s one of the interesting things you can learn from the chart that accompanies a front page article in yesterday’s Daily Journal. District 4, Division 2, sitting in Riverside, is one of only two divisions to have a perfect record on the review of its decisions by the California Supreme Court in the last twelve months. The other is First District, Division 1, which had only one case reviewed. Three divisions had no decisions reviewed by the Supreme Court in that period. While Division 2 in Riverside was batting a thousand, their Fourth District colleagues in Division 3 (Santa Ana), batted .ooo, getting reversed on all five cases reviewed from…

  • California Courts

    Judicial Council meeting this week to discuss impact of court closures

    A Friday afternoon press release (PDF) from the Administrative Office of the Courts announced that this Wednesday’s meeting of the Judicial Council will include a review of  the impact of the court closure policy instituted last September. From the agenda: Based on survey responses from the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, 54 superior courts, and 275 justice system partners, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) recommends continuing the one-day-per-month judicial branch closures through June 2010, as directed at the July 29, 2009, Judicial Council meeting. The closures provide a viable method in the short term to absorb the significant budget reductions imposed on the branch, although they are far from…

  • California Courts

    Supreme Court announces court closure schedule

    The California Supreme Court has announced the statewide court closure schedule made necessary, according to the announcement, by “California’s current fiscal crisis.” “The Supreme Court of California, the Courts of Appeal, and all superior courts will be closed on the third Wednesday of each month, starting September 16, 2009”. Those of you who prefer not to risk miscounting your Wednesdays can find a list of closure dates through June 2010 on the Supreme Court’s home page. In case that list is no longer there when you look, Kimberly Kralowek has posted the same chart at The UCL Practitioner.

  • California Courts

    2008 California Court Statistics Report

    Now available for PDF Download: 2008 Court Statistics Report: Statewide Caseload Trends, 1997-1998 through 2006-2007.  Always interesting to peruse. The first thing to jump out at me from this year’s report (in my thus far rather hasty review): the median time statewide for civil appeals (from time of filing the notice of appeal to the time of disposition) was 432 days in 2006-2007.  That’s roughly 14 months.  And 90% of all civil appeals are disposed of within 680 days, or about 22 months.  These are statewide numbers.  Some districts are better than others. I may be wrong, but I think there is a general impression among many clients (and perhaps…

  • California Courts

    The Influence of the California Supreme Court

    There are apparently a couple articles out there ranking California’s courts, and its Supreme Court, tops in the nation . . . whatever that means. I say “apparently” because I have to take others’ words for it. I’m way too busy to read the articles themselves. For those of you with time, the more recent of the two is here (hat tip: Civil Procedure Prof Blog). Texas Appellate Law Blog has a PDF download of the earlier article. One nugget I gleaned in my quick skim of the more recent article: while the first study ranked California’s Supreme Court #1 in influence on other states, a survey by the U.…

  • California Courts,  California Supreme Court,  Family Law

    Televised Coverage and More Regarding Supreme Court Marriage Cases

    According to this link at the California Courts website, oral argument in six cases concerning the constitutionality of California’s marriage statutes will be televised on the California Channel shortly after they are heard on on March 4.  The court has also made many of the briefs available online, which you can access from the same link. UPDATE (2/27/08):  An alert commenter points out that the television broadcast will be live instead of delayed.

  • California Court of Appeal,  California Courts,  California Procedure,  Stare Decisis

    The Liberty of the Court of Appeal

    Several months ago, I posted about a local court of appeal decision, Cuccia v. Superior Court, case no. B197278 (July 16, 2007), that chided the trial judge for not following the rules of stare decisis: The doctrine of stare decisis requires a trial court to follow an unambiguous published holding of the Court of Appeal, even if the trial court believes that the appellate opinion was erroneously decided. This, we had assumed, was fairly obvious to every trial court judge; that is, until now. The court went on to state that a trial court that disagrees with the precedent “should make a record articulating why it believes the binding opinion…

  • Appellate Procedure,  California Courts,  California Procedure

    Compare and Contrast: Virginia and California

    Waaaaaayy outside our usual jurisdiction, but California appellate lawyers may be interested in reading this post by “S. COTUS” at Appellate Law & Practice, which in turn links to this post at the SW Virginia Law Blog about the en banc Virginia Court of Appeals opinion in Moore v. Commonwealth.  If I read these posts correctly, and they accurately portray the case, the posts demonstrate a wildly different approach to appellate jurisdiction in Virginia than in California, for which we should probably all (well, at least those of us representing appellants, and all appellants in pro per) breathe a sigh of relief. The court dismisses the appeal because the “petition…

  • Appellate Procedure,  California Courts,  California Procedure

    Easing Back into Things with Some Reminders from the Judicial Council

    OK, I’m going to ease back into posting here with some easy ones. The California Courts website now has up-to-date versions (i.e., the versions effective as of January 1, 2008) of the following posted: Judicial Council Forms. This is a nice list, as it is only of the forms that have changes or been added, and the page includes a link to download all of the changed and new forms in a single zip file with one click. This list includes two forms for appeals, APP-003 — Appellant’s Notice Designating Record on Appeal (Unlimited Civil Case) and APP-008 — Certificate of Interested Entities or Persons. The latter is a brand…

  • California Courts

    The California Appellate Court Legacy Project

    From the California Courts website: In 2006, the California Appellate Court Legacy Project was undertaken to interview all retired justices in the state, as well as active justices who may be nearing retirement. Overseen by the Appellate Court Legacy Project Committee (chaired by Associate Justice Judith L. Haller of the Fourth Appellate District, Division One), interviews are videotaped or audiotaped and conducted by interviewers selected from within the appellate branch. Ultimately the tapes will be made available to judicial colleagues, historians, scholars, law students, and members of the public. The resulting archive will be an historical record of both the personal experiences of individual justices and the evolution of the…

  • California Court of Appeal,  California Courts,  California Supreme Court,  Death Penalty

    Death Penalty Appeals to Shift from Supreme Court to Court of Appeal?

    Monday’s announcement that the Supreme Court is seeking a constitutional amendment to have death penalty appeals heard in the Courts of Appeal (press release here) has predictably triggered blog coverage. Legal Pad calls the announcement a “bombshell,” poses several questions regarding the potential impact of such an amendment, and seeks answers from their readers. Crime & Consequences questions whether the proposed summary affirmance procedure for the Supreme Court to affirm Court of Appeal dispositions is functionally any different from discretionary review. The first comment on the post questions the propriety of justices “publicly lobbying to modify their jurisdiction” because practitioners who appear before them will be hesitant to publicly oppose…

  • California Courts,  Stare Decisis

    A Group Passionate about Changes to Publication/Citation Rules

    I had occasion to do some research recently into the fight for changes in the rules for publication and the California ban on citation of unpublished California opinions (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.1115) and ran across The Committee for the Rule of Law. According to its mission statement, it “seeks to revive full publication of all decisions of the United States Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeal of California in official reports and to eliminate all rules of court prohibiting the citation of approximately 90% of all decisions of our appellate courts to any court for any purpose.” The name of the group and the passion with…

  • California Courts,  Ethics,  Judges

    Updates to Code of Judicial Ethics

    This press release from the Judicial Council of California announces that the Supreme Court has approved several amendments to the Code of Judicial Ethics.  The press release recounts the areas affected before going into significant detail on the changes: The issues covered by the amendments include handling cases with self-represented litigants, judicial disclosure, character reference letters, self-reporting by judges after being charged with or convicted of certain crimes, and misusing the prestige of the office by commissioners or referees. The updated code is available as a downloadable PDF. Click here for the PDF.  The changes do not take effect until January 1, 2008.

  • California Courts,  California Procedure

    Recent Judicial Council Action on Appellate Issues

    The Judicial Council approved several recommendations of the Appellate Advisory Panel on the Council’s “consent agenda” for its October 26, 2007 meeting. Those recommendations include rule amendments/additions regarding costs and sanctions, designation of the record on appeal, clarification regarding extensions of time to appeal, overlength briefs in capital cases, and citation format. See the agenda (available as a PDF download here) for details. If you’re interested in how the discussion items were actually debated at the meeting, the Council has made audio files of the meeting available, broken down by discussion item, here.

  • California Courts,  Discovery,  Judges

    Judicial Performance Commission Records Not Discoverable

    In Commission on Judicial Performance v. Superior Court, case no. B201251 (2d Dist. Oct. 29, 2007), the court of appeal holds that records of the Commission on Judicial Performance are not discoverable.  Its holding appears absolute, regardless of circumstances. Felony defendant Davidson had his suppression motion denied by Judge Schwartz. Davidson filed a complaint against Judge Schwartz with the Commission, then was convicted after his case was transferred to another judge. In connection with his motion for a new trial, he filed a Pitchess motion (Pitchess v. Superior Court (1974) 11 Cal.3d 531) for records from the Commission concerning Judge Schwartz. The trial court ordered the records produced for in…

  • California Courts,  California Supreme Court,  Judges

    Chief Justice George’s State of the Judiciary Address

    Chief Justice George’s 12th annual address on the state of the judiciary, given at last week’s state bar conference, is available through the California Courts website. The transcript of his address is here. If you’d like to read a synopsis before (or instead of) reading the transcript, a PDF download of the post-address press release is available here.