Monday, January 14, 2013

How should one attack Supreme Court precedent?

Precedent from the California Supreme Court is binding on lower courts, no matter how old the opinion is. But in some cases it makes sense to take another look at an old case and take a shot at knocking it down. For an object lesson in how to attack poorly reasoned precedent, see today's Supreme Court opinion in
Riverisland Cold Storage v. Fresno-Madera etc. Credit:

The legal rule at issue was 75 years old, had been criticized and narrowly construed by the courts of appeal, conflicted with the Restatement and most treatises, and was contrary to law in most other states. A fine receipe for a reversal.