Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2d DCA pro tem update

  • Judge Helen Bendix of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division One until January 31, 2015
  • Judge Lee Edmon of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until December 31, 2014
  • Judge Luis A. Lavin of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Three until December 31, 2014
  • Judge Allan J. Goodman of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Five until January 31, 2015
  • Judge Earle Jeffrey Burke of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Six until December 31, 2014
  • Judge John Segal of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven until December 5, 2014
  • Judge Gail Feuer of the Los Angeles Superior Court, will be sitting Pro-Tem in Division Seven from December 8, 2014 until January 31, 2015

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More noteworthy December appellate programs

  • Looking for a reason to spend a Friday (and then, perhaps the weekend) in the Bay Area? Friday, Dec. 5: BASF hosts "View from the Appellate Bench" with an all-star panel of speakers including: Justice Liu, Justices Richman, Pollak, Siggins, Bruiniers, Banke, Margulies, Jenkins, Stewart, ... you get the idea. If you practice in the 1st DCA, or need 6 hours of appellate specialization mcle credit, this is the place to be. Details here.
  • Or how about BASF's "The Wizard of Koz" -- the 2d Annual Sandy Svetcov Memorial Lecture on appellate law -- given by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Kozinski on the evening of Dec. 9... Details here.
  • Back down in LA, LACBA's Immigration & Nationality Law Section presents "Practicing Immigration Law Before the Ninth Circuit" on Saturday, Dec. 13, with speakers including Judge Nguyen. Details here.
  • OCBA's Appellate Law Section Holiday Luncheon is Dec. 12. Click here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Supreme Court nomination!!! "Angeleno" Leondra Kruger

Governor Brown Selects
Leondra R. Kruger
for California Supreme Court

[The LA Times reports: "She was born in Glendale to parents who were both pediatricians, grew up in South Pasadena and attended Polytechnic High School in Pasadena."]

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced Leondra R. Kruger as his choice for associate justice of the California Supreme Court.


Leondra R. Kruger, 38, of Washington, D.C., has served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel since 2013. She served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General and as Acting Principal Deputy Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Solicitor General from 2007 to 2013. While serving in that office, she argued 12 cases on behalf of the federal government before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

“Leondra Kruger is a distinguished lawyer and uncommon student of the law,” said Governor Brown. “She has won the respect of eminent jurists, scholars and practitioners alike.”

“I am deeply honored by Governor Brown's nomination,” said Kruger. “I look forward to returning home to California and, if confirmed, serving the people of California on our state's highest court.”

Kruger was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School in 2007 and an associate at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP from 2004 to 2006. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court from 2003 to 2004 and to the Honorable David S. Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2002 to 2003. Kruger was an associate at Jenner and Block LLP from 2001 to 2002.

“I am delighted to congratulate Leondra Kruger on her nomination to the California Supreme Court,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. “Leondra is an extraordinarily talented attorney who has been a leader within the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and Office of the Solicitor General. Her remarkable judgment, tireless work ethic, and dedication to the highest ideals of public service have marked her as one of the foremost leaders of her profession. I am certain that she will be an excellent and thoughtful Supreme Court Justice who will serve the people of California with distinction for many years. I will miss working with Leondra, but I am proud to join my colleagues in wishing her all the best as she begins a new chapter in her already extraordinary career.”

Solicitors General under both President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush also lauded today’s announcement: 

“Leondra Kruger is a brilliant, deeply principled and eloquent lawyer who has served the Department of Justice and the country with great distinction in the Solicitor General’s Office and more recently in the Office of Legal Counsel,” said U.S. Solicitor General Don Verrilli. “Her character, temperament and wise judgment make her ideally suited to serve as a jurist on the California Supreme Court. I am certain she will make great contributions to the law in the years to come.”

“Leondra Kruger is perhaps the most outstanding lawyer in America right now under the age of 40. She is known for meticulous preparation before her arguments in the United States Supreme Court, her absolute dedication to candor and her unwavering commitment to fairness,” said former Acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal. “She served the United States Justice Department with marked distinction, and will make a historic, fabulous, Justice on the California Supreme Court. California, and the nation, could do no better than Leondra Kruger.” 

“Leondra is an outstanding lawyer and was an even better colleague at the Office of Solicitor General. She combines an understated and easygoing manner with a keen legal mind and unquestioned integrity,” said former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement.

Kruger earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Kruger was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She is a member of the State Bar of California.

“Leondra is an exemplary, outstanding graduate of the Yale Law School,” said Yale Law School Dean and Sol and Lillian Goldman Professor of Law Robert Post. “She has a proven track-record of exceptional public service and achievement. I am confident that she shall become a superb Justice, a magnificent fiduciary for the laws and welfare of the people of California.”

Kruger will replace Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who retired from the court earlier this year. The compensation for this position is $225,342.

The Governor's nomination must be submitted to the State Bar's Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. The Commission on Judicial Appointments consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and senior presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal Joan Dempsey Klein.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dec. 2 -- You gonna go Federal or State?

Ok, SoCal Appellate Fanatics, what are you gonna do the evening of December 2?

FBA-LA is throwing a Tribute to Chief Judge Kozinski at the Chambers Courthouse in Pasadena. Flyer here.

But the Italian American Lawyers Association's Supreme Court Night is that same evening at the Casa Italiana. Flyer here.

Yes, sometimes you CAN be two places at once...

Of course Dec. 3 is easy: That's the LACBA Appellate Courts Section Holiday reception...

iPads at the Lectern!

Effective November 1, 2014 the Fourth District  implemented the following electronic devices policy (which the 5th District has had all this year):
Uniform Policy on Public Use of Electronic Devices in Court of Appeal Court Rooms
Laptop computers and electronic tablets may be used in the court room but must be silenced and placed in “airplane mode” at all times. Such devices may be used by counsel or self-represented litigants only as an aid in presenting oral argument and cannot be used to display demonstrative evidence to the court or for any other purpose. Cellular telephones and other electronic devices are not permitted in the court room. No audio or video recording or photography is permitted in the court room except in compliance with California Rules of Court, Rule 1.150. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the violator being removed from the court room.

The 2d DCA is announced it will adopt this same policy starting January 5, 2015.

5th DCA to follow the 1st in using TrueFiling


Starting in 2015, all attorneys submitting documents for filing in any appeal or original proceeding with the 5th DCA must file electronically through an electronic filing system, known as TrueFiling, developed in partnership with the vendor ImageSoft, Inc. See Local Rule 8. The e-Filing system will allow electronic transmission of documents to the court on a 24 hour basis. 
e-Filing will be mandatory first in all civil appeals and original proceedings, with a planned commencement date of January 13, 2015. Approximately 30 days later, e-Filing will be mandatory for all criminal and juvenile appeals and original proceedings. Everyone is urged to periodically check the court’s website for updates. e-Filing through the TrueFiling system will be required for all attorneys, unless an exemption is granted. Self-represented parties are encouraged, but are not required to, register for electronic filing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Can a summary judgment order also be a dismissal order?

This one's for YOU appellate nerds!
Yes, we know that an order granting summary judgment is not an appealable order. But what if that order also includes a dismissal? We also all know that under CCP 581d, a dismissal order IS a judgment. So what's the ruling? Appealable or not?
Your answer is finally here, in this unpub from 1/1: Tianen-Bennett v. Superior Court.

(Note, that we're NOT talking about CCP 581 "subdivision (d)," but "581d," a different statute with a weird name. If the opinion gets published -- and won't some appellate-minded fanatic demand that? -- then the decision better be proofed carefully!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


  • PJ Gilbert to be honored at the Fifth Annual Beverly Hills Bar Association Litigation Awards Dinner (Feb. 18, 2015). Details here.
  • National Law Journal 2014 Appellate Hot List
  • The California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law and the Hastings Law Journal announce a joint project, a blog focused on providing substantive coverage of issues concerning the Supreme Court of California:
  • Conservatorship of Townsend (2/3): "Submission of motion to vacate judgment to temporary judge appointed under Article VI, Sec. 21 of the California Constitution was not equivalent to filing the motion with the superior court clerk and therefore did not toll time in which to appeal the judgment." (quoting MetNews blurb; see also MetNews article: Court Warns on Submitting Motions to Private Judges: Appeal Dismissed Because Litigant Did Not File With Clerk.)
  • "The rules governing posttrial motions involve drawing bright lines marking the point when the trial court’s jurisdiction over a case ends and the jurisdiction of the appellate court begins. We caution the bar that stipulating to a temporary judge does not relieve the parties from complying with statutes that affect our jurisdiction. Because the time to appeal was not extended, this appeal is untimely." (slip op. at 3.)
  • Gwartz v. Weilert (5th Dist.): "Where plaintiffs identified 47 different transfers of money by defendants that violated the trial court’s orders made during proceedings to enforce judgment, and defendants did not deny that the transfers took place, the balance of the equitable considerations relevant to the disentitlement doctrine favored dismissal of defendants’ appeal from the underlying judgment." (quoting MetNews blurb)(See also in the MetNews: C.A. Dismisses Appeal in Suit Over Fraud in Sale of Ranch Panel Invokes Disentitlement Doctrine After Defendant Shifts Assets)
  • Professor Eugene Volokh at UCLA has set up a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic that might be a great resource. Got a free speech case (or religious freedom or church-state cases) in which you’d like a supporting amicus brief? Check out the details at the clinic’s website.
  • Post Trial Motions in California MCLE program (in SF on 1/29/15): info here.
  • "DIGging" around also reveals that Monday's DJ featured MC Sungaila's article Improvidently Granted Cases and the Rise of the Amicus Brief.

Friday, November 14, 2014

LASC Rule on Courtesy in Briefing

Here's an LASC rule you've probably never seen:
Be Excellent to Each Other"The language used in any brief or document filed in this court must be courteous, and free from insulting criticism of any person, individually or officially, or of any class or association of persons, or of any court of justice, or other institution. Any violation of this rule shall subject the author or authors of the brief or document to the humiliation of having the brief or document returned, and to punishment for contempt of the authority of the court." (LASC Rule VII.7.Briefs)
Isn't that classic? Be "courteous" or be 'humiliated'!
Why haven't you seen this rule before? Because "LASC" in this context is the Louisiana Supreme Court.
In California we don't need such a rule because we are already excellent unto each other, right?

Rambo litigation tactics are so 80's...

I sing of new appellate rules

H&L's John Taylor presents another lyrically annotated ditty on the changes effective January 1, 2015 affecting California appellate practice you need to know about in A Music Fan's Guide To new California Appeals Rules at Law360.

Links to the actual text of the rule changes (and others) can be found here. The statutory changes are located here. But you'll enjoy John's article A LOT more...

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