Tagged: Analysis

Johnson v. Department of Justice – an equal protection analysis

Johnson v. Department of Justice – an equal protection analysis

Under Penal Code section 290, all persons convicted of consensual oral copulation with a partner under 18 must register as a sex offender.  In 2006, the California Supreme Court in People v. Hofsheier held 6-1 that the mandatory registration unconstitutionally denied the defendant the equal protection of the laws because a person convicted of consensual sexual intercourse with a partner under 18 (Penal Code section 261.5) would not be subject to mandatory registration.  On January 29, 2015, however, Johnson v. Department of Justice overruled Hofsheier by a 5-2 vote and reinstated the mandatory registration requirement for those convicted of consensual...

Review granted in People v. Buza – Whether California’s DNA collection law violates the U.S. or Cal. Constitution

Review granted in People v. Buza – Whether California’s DNA collection law violates the U.S. or Cal. Constitution

On February 18, the California Supreme Court granted review in People v. Buza, in which the Court of Appeal held that a California law requiring the collection of DNA from every person arrested for a felony violates Article I, section 13 of the California Constitution. Already pending before SCOCA is People v. Lowe, in which another Court of Appeal decision reached the opposite conclusion: that California’s DNA collection scheme did not violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The opinions in Lowe and Buza were both issued after earlier California decisions were vacated in the wake of the U.S....

Generic Drug Product Liability:  An Emerging SCOCA Issue?

Generic Drug Product Liability:  An Emerging SCOCA Issue?

Even as the Supreme Court of California prepares to hear oral argument in In re Cipro Cases I & II (S198616) on March 3, 2015, another issue involving pharmaceutical science and regulatory law may be headed for consideration at 350 McAllister Street. The decision in Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. v. Superior Ct. (“Pikerie”) — which arguably broadened the scope of California product liability claims that may lie against generic drug manufacturers — dodged high court review when the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari on January 20, 2015.  SCOCA had previously denied Teva’s petition for review on September 25, 2013.  Superior...

Opinion Analysis: Richey v. AutoNation

Opinion Analysis: Richey v. AutoNation

On January 29, 2015, a unanimous California Supreme Court issued its opinion in Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., an important clarification on when a court can overturn an arbitration award. Facts Plaintiff Richey worked as an at-will employee for defendant Power Toyota. His employment terms included acceptance of (1) a company policy that prohibited outside work while on approved medical leave and (2) an agreement to resolve any employment dispute through arbitration. The arbitration agreement provided that any decision would be “final and binding.” The agreement did not expressly provide that courts could review any arbitration award for legal error. Richey...

Johnson v. Department of Justice – Equal Protection and Mandatory Registration for Sex Offenders

Johnson v. Department of Justice – Equal Protection and Mandatory Registration for Sex Offenders

This is the first of two SCOCAblog posts on the recent opinion of Johnson v. Department of Justice. Keep a look out for a second posting with further analysis early next week. Summary: California’s sex offender registration scheme, Penal Code section 290 et seq., treats defendants convicted of engaging in non-forcible oral sex with a minor differently than those who engage in vaginal sex with a minor. Most pertinent to this case, the statutes give judges discretion whether or not to impose registration on an adult who has non-forcible vaginal sex with a 16-year-old, but lifetime registration is mandatory for an...

Waste of Space: S208611 California Charter Schools Association v. Los Angeles Unified School District et al.

Today, the California Supreme Court is hearing arguments in California Charter Schools Association v. Los Angeles Unified School District. In this case the court will decide whether the Court of Appeal adopted an incorrect methodology for determining what facilities a school district must afford to a charter school under the Education Code.  The case touches on statutory interpretation, a voter-enacted charter school law, and principles of fairness in an overcrowded and underfunded school district. Proposition 39 was enacted in 2009 as an initiative measure.  It requires school districts to provide to charter schools “facilities sufficient for the charter school to...

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...

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...

The Tolling Effect of the Federal Supplemental-Jurisdiction Statute

The Tolling Effect of the Federal Supplemental-Jurisdiction Statute

In Brief On July 7, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in City of Los Angeles v. County of Kern, holding the federal supplemental-jurisdiction statute to provide only a “grace period” of thirty days to refile a supplemental claim in state court after dismissal by a federal court. Under this holding, if a plaintiff refiles the claim in state court more than thirty days after a federal dismissal, the plaintiff could be barred by the state statute of limitations. Background Although federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, they may hear state claims under circumstances allowed by the...