SCOCAblog by the California Constitution Center and the Hastings Law Journal

SCOCA Chambers Staff:  Annual Clerks or Staff Attorneys – or Both?

SCOCA Chambers Staff: Annual Clerks or Staff Attorneys – or Both?

We revisit a conversation of ancient vintage about the relative merits of judicial staff attorneys versus annual law clerks in the chambers of California Supreme Court justices. The staff attorneys are long-term professionals, while the annual law clerks are typically recent law school graduates who serve just a year or so (thus the name). This is distinct from the related debate about the role these attorneys play in the court’s decisionmaking process. That discussion is for another day – today we only compare staff attorneys and annual clerks. This conversation has been going on for many years – most recently...

27 Jan 2015: SCOCA this week and next.

27 Jan 2015: SCOCA this week and next.

The week of 26 Jan 2015: The court has no arguments scheduled this week. The upcoming argument session is next week, on Wed 04 Feb 2015 in Sacramento. Next week’s argument calendar: The court’s argument calendar for Wed 04 Feb 2015 in Sacramento. The following cases are placed upon the calendar of the Supreme Court for oral argument at its courtroom in the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, 914 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, California, on February 4, 2015. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015 9:00 A.M. (1) S208611 California Charter Schools Association v. Los Angeles Unified School District et al. (2) S211596...

12 Jan 2015:  SCOCA this year, this month, this week.

12 Jan 2015: SCOCA this year, this month, this week.

In 2015: We can expect some interesting new trends to develop at the court this year. As of this month, two new members have taken seats on the SCOCA bench:  Justice Cuéllar, replacing Justice Kennard, and Justice Kruger, replacing Justice Baxter. Along with Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Liu, who both joined the court in 2011 (replacing Chief Justice George and Justice Moreno, respectively), that makes four new or relatively-new members of the seven-member bench – a majority of the court has served less than four years. At the time he joined the court in August 2011, Justice Liu was...

What can we learn from Justice Leondra Kruger’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court?

What can we learn from Justice Leondra Kruger’s arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court?

California’s newest Supreme Court Justice, Leondra R. Kruger, served from 2007 to 2012 as an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. Hired initially by Republican Solicitor General Paul Clement, Kruger served under six different confirmed or acting Solicitors General. When Neal Katyal was elevated to Acting Solicitor General in 2010 he appointed Kruger as his Acting Principal Deputy, the second-highest position in that office. Kruger’s appointment as Principal Deputy in 2010 capped an unusually fast rise, indicative of Kruger’s innate skills as well as her ability to command respect from peers and, indeed, experienced colleagues much older...

Happy Holidays from SCOCAblog!

Happy Holidays from SCOCAblog!

Thank you for bearing with us as SCOCAblog ramps up. After the holidays, we will be getting you more frequent updates of what is happening at the Supreme Court of California, and bringing you analysis of pending and decided cases from our expert panel of contributors. If you’re interested in contributing, email us here. Also, stay tuned for a new added function at SCOCAblog: a live docket! The live docket will keep you updated on all of the cases on SCOCA’s docket.

Introduction by Joseph Grodin, Former Associate Justice, California Supreme Court

Introduction by Joseph Grodin, Former Associate Justice, California Supreme Court

Adam Liptak, writing for the New York Times a few years ago, called the California Supreme Court the “most influential state court in the nation” and for good reason. A study published in the U.C. Davis Law Review, which focused on the number of times state court decisions were cited by other state courts, found California’s high court to be the winner by a landslide. But if one were to judge solely by the table of contents of leading law reviews, one would hardly know that to be the case. It is not that law reviews have been shunning the...