Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Justice Corrigan spars with KO

Last night was the Public Law Center's Volunteers for Justice 2014 Annual Dinner, a real who's-who, don't-miss-it legal event in Orange County. Many justices from 4/3 were there, including Justices Aronson, Fybel, and Ikola -- and PJ Kathleen O'Leary (aka KO). Rather than a keynote address, KO and Supreme Court Justice Corrigan engaged in an amusing conversation filled with friendly banter and repartee.

Justice Corrigan said that her favorite part of being on the Supreme Court is the writing; being able to make California law. Her least favorite part is the travel. The biggest change from being on the Supreme Court versus the Court of Appeal is that 7 is more than 3 -- i.e., it's harder to get a unanimous opinion. Also, there is much more conversation via written memo, rather than face-to-face discussions among the justices.

Justice Corrigan said that the best way to have a petition for review granted is to show a conflict among the appellate districts, to have a dissenting opinion in the Court of Appeal, or to point to the need to interpret new statutory language. She emphasized that although a quarter of the court's workload is death penalty appeals, every case gets white glove treatment.

Her oral argument tip was: Eat a good breakfast! Don't get up early and not eat breakfast; that is a recipe for passing out at the lectern, which she has seen happen twice. Beyond a good morning meal: Be smart; Be prepared; and don't lie.

The interview ended with a stirring rendition of the Notre Dame fight song.

Also mentioned was her devotion to St. Vincent's Day Home;
she is the President of the Board of Directors.