Friday, July 21, 2017

SCOTUS Cafeteria article

Today's Wall St. Journal runs Welcome to the Supreme Court! The Turkey Wraps Need More Mayo --- By custom, the most-junior justice must run the building's infamous cafeteria, about SCOTUS's cafeteria (on the ground floor, open to the public, seats 185, open M-F 7:30-4:00). The article is filled with bad food puns, and yet is still amusing. The cafeteria gets 4.5 stars on Google, 3.5 on Trip Advisor, and 3.5 on Yelp.
Image result for scotus cafeteria"The windowless cafeteria, decorated with photos of the Supreme Court, offers a range of items, including hamburgers ($5.70; cheese is 30 cents extra), chicken tenders ($5), sweet potato fries ($2.30) and two soups a day."
More heartburn came in 2010, when the Washington Post ran a series reviewing government cafeterias. The House of Representatives came in first, with a grade of A.
The Patent and Trademark Office, the Pentagon and the State Department each got a C, while the Agriculture Department and the National Institutes of Health barely passed with D's.
Then came the Supreme Court. "This food should be unconstitutional," the paper said, citing a "falling-apart mushy" veggie burger and a salmon rice bowl that "bears no resemblance to any salmon I've tasted before." Grade: F.
"I got a note from the chief justice the next day," Justice Sotomayor says. "It said: 'You're fired.'"

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tino v. The Terminator?

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See in today's Recorder What Worries a Calif. Supreme Court Justice About AI and the Law? to learn that while there "are many complicated issues that undoubtedly weigh on the mind of California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar," "the notion that super-intelligent robots might one day destroy humanity is apparently not one of them." This year the good justice is not at Comic-Con in San Diego, but rather at the equally amazing 9th Circuit Judicial Conference in San Francisco. The DJ reports in 9th Circuit Conference considers AI, gender discrimination, that Justice Cuellar "championed his cautious optimism about artificial intelligence's futuer capabilities." (Next year's conference will be held at Westworld resort...)

In other dispatches from dorkdom, the legal-internet is exploding with links to this 11th Circuit opinion here, which starts off with a quote from Tyrion Lannister. (FYI, last summer a Kenyan decision included a meaty GOT quote here; and, of course, closer to home, in the 9th Cir. we have Judge Owens.)

This week's DJ supplement on "Top Labor & Employment Lawyers 2017" includes a number who admit to doing appeals as part of their "specialty": Paul Cane (Paul Hastings), Glen Danas (Capstone Law), Monique Olivier (Duckworth Peters), Norm Pine (Pine Pine), Michael Rubin (Altshuler Berzon), Linda Savitt (Ballard Rosenbergt), Felix Shafir (H&L), Mani Sheik (Sheik Law), and Richard Simmons (Sheppard Mullin).

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Expedited Appeals for Elder Abuse Cases

In January CCP 1294.4 took effect, titled Expedited Appeal Process for Claims Under the Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (Welf & Inst. Code sec. 15600 et seq.), requiring appeals from orders dismissing or denying a petition to compel arbitration to be decided in a mere 100 days.
Subdivision (c) of the statute tasked the Judicial Council with adopting rules of court to provide for expedited appeals by July 1. Well, those special rules now exist in their own chapter in Title 8 as rules 8.710 to 8.717, which govern "appeals under Code of Civil Procedure section 1294.4 from a superior court order dismissing or denying a petition to compel arbitration." To ensure these appeals are expedited, the rules provide as follows:

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  • CRC 8.711 requires electronic service (with limited exceptions).
  • CRC 8.712 provides that the time to appeal is only 20 days after notice of entry of the order dismissing or denying the petition to compel arbitration; and cross-appeals are due 5 days after the notice of notice of appeal. (And copies of the order being appealed and the order granting preference under CCP sec. 36 must be attached to the notice of appeal.)
  • CRC 8.713 requires the use of appendices; and appellant must include the RT designation or nonelection with the notice of appeal. RTs are due in 10 days after the court notifies the court reporter.
  • CRC 8.715 requires the opening brief to be filed within 10 days after the notice of appeal is filed; RBs are due 25 days later; and reply briefs in 15 days. Stipulated extensions are allowed; extra time by stip is added to the 100 days within which the appeal is supposed to be decided.
  • CRC 8.716 provides for only 10 days' notice of oral argument.

"How I spent my summer vacation" (SCOTUS edition)

What do SCOTUS justices do over the summer? See When it's Summertime, Justices Hit the Road and Speak Out, which reports:
  • Kennedy teaches at McGeorge's program in Salzburg, Austria
  • CJ Roberts will teach at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • Alito just finished teaching in Rome for Loyola Chicago
  • RBG was in Malta for S. Texas College of Law
  • Kagan spoke at the Aspen Institute in Colorado
  • Etc., etc... (See also SCOTUS Map to stalk track the justices)
Also, FYI, actress Felicity Jones will portray RBG in the soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture biopic On the Basis of Sex.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Justice Liu co-authors Glass Ceiling report

The Recorder reports on the newly published study that Justice Goodwin Liu co-authored in Study: Asian-Americans Face Glass Ceiling in the Law, which begins:
Asian-Americans have been the fastest-growing minority group in the legal profession for the past three decades, but they've made only limited progress in reaching the upper echelons of the law, according to a study released Tuesday.

"Asian-Americans have a firm foot in the door of the legal profession; the question now is how wide the door will swing open," wrote the study's co-authors, including California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu. "Greater penetration into these public leadership roles is critical if the increasing number of Asian-American attorneys is to translate into increasing influence of Asian-Americans in the legal profession and throughout society."

Articles, articles!

Today's LA Times features another editorial from California Appellate Law Group chairman Ben Feuer, this one titled Why the Supreme Court needs 18-year term limits, supporting the Calabresi-Lindgren proposal (in the 2006 Harvard Law Review) in which justices get 18-year terms, with a new justice appointed every 2 years (so every president would get to nominate two justices per term).

Yesterday's DJ's "small firm profile" column was Appeal Advocates: Esner Change & Boyer has grown into a plaintiffs' go-to firm for winning trial court reversals. The Pasadena-based seven-attorney appellate boutique, used by leading plaintiffs' firms, was founded nearly 30 years ago by Stuart Esner after he worked at H&L and at the 2d DCA for Justice McCloskey.

The DJ's cover story yesterday is about the newly elected State Bar president Michael Colantuono, whom the DJ refers to as a "municipal law expert." True enough, but the appellate community knows Michael--a certified specialist in appellate law--as one of us! The MetNews article (Colantuono Chosen as New State Bar President) notes he is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and has argued in all six appellate districts. Congratulations!

Below the fold on the DJ's cover yesterday, see also 9th Circuit Conference Echoes Battles with Trump. And see in The Recorder, Gorsuch Gets Civics Lesson From Student Essayists at Ninth Circuit Conference.

Finally, Moskovtiz on Appeals ends its Statement of Facts series with Part VII. How to persuade in the statement of facts? Include certain facts that are not strictly relevant, but that help with the equities. Also the lack of evidence on a certain point can be a useful 'fact.' Finish the statement of facts with a punch, perhaps a juicy quote from the trial court.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gorsuch to Speak at 9th Circuit Conference After Kennedy's Wife Is Injured

The Recorder reports here that:
New U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch will make one of his first off-bench public appearances July 17 at the judicial conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. Mary Kennedy, who fractured her hip in a fall, is expected to make a full recovery.

2d DCA pro tem update

The following are currently sitting on assignment in the 2d DCA (extensions from the last update highlighted):
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  • Judge Allan Goodman (Retired) of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Two until September 30, 2017
  • Judge Michael Johnson of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until July 31, 2017
  • Judge Monica Bachner of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until September 30, 2017
  • Judge Natalie P. Stone of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three beginning July 17, 2017 until September 30, 2017
  • Judge Kim Dunning of the Orange County Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until September 30, 2017
  • Judge Dennis Landin of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until August 31, 2017
  • Judge Frank Menetrez of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until September 30, 2017
  • Judge Douglas W. Sortino of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Eight until July 31, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

FRAP Happy

In comparison to other Circuits, the Ninth Circuit is pretty user-friendly and casual. This extends to its interpretation of certain briefing rules. Yeah, the federal rules technically require an appellant's opening brief to include "a jurisdictional statement" that asserts the basis for the district court's jurisdiction (with citations and relevant facts establishing jurisdiction), plus the basis for the court of appeals' jurisdiction (again with applicable citations and relevant facts), including the filing dates establishing the timeliness of the appeal, and the assertion that the appeal is from a final order or judgment that disposes of all the parties' claims (or other info establishing jurisdiction). (See FRAP 28(a)(4)(A-D).) The Ninth Circuit has its own rule, Circuit Rule 28-2.2, about the statement of jurisdiction, which is less onerous. Even so, a large percentage of briefs in the 9th Circuit probably don't strictly comply with the 'statement of jurisdiction rule,' and the court simply doesn't bother about it. After all, by this point, jurisdiction has been screened pretty carefully a few times already. But not all courts are as forgiving...

On Monday the Seventh Circuit dropped this bomb here, titled Jurisdictional Screening Orders, in which Chief Judge Wood essentially says, "please follow the damn rules to the letter, or we'll strike your brief!" Key quotes:

"a distressing number of briefs filed in this court do not comply with the requirements of FRAP 28"
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You've been warned!
The appellee cannot simply assume that the appellant has provided a jurisdictional statement that complies with the rules. Common problems in appellants’ jurisdictional statements include, in federal question cases where jurisdiction depends on 28 U.S.C. § 1331, the failure to specify the particular statute or constitutional provision at issue, and in diversity cases, failure to distinguish between citizenship (required by 28 U.S.C. § 1332) and residency (irrelevant) and, for organizations such as partnerships, LLPs, and LLCs, the failure to work back through the ownership structure until one reaches either individual human beings or a formal corporation with a state of incorporation and a state of principal place of business.
"The job of the appellee is to review the appellant’s jurisdictional statement to see if it is both complete and correct. These terms are not synonyms." (Italics and bold in original.)
There is no reason why, month after month, year after year, the court should encounter jurisdictional statements with such obvious flaws. This imposes needless costs on everyone involved. ... I hope that this opinion will prevent the same problems from continuing to arise.