Monday, October 20, 2014

Appellate Panel Must Have 3 Judges

Today's MetNews reports on Johnson v. Appellate Division in Court of Appeal Rejects Use of Two-Judge Appellate Panel in Superior Court. Code of Civil Procedure 77(b) provides that in each superior court appellate division, "no more than three judges shall participate in a hearing or decision [and] [t]he presiding judge of the division shall designate the three judges who shall participate." The Santa Cruz Superior Court had had a policy of allowing cases to be decided with the concurrence of two judges. The 6th District (with "articulate and cogent" amicus support from CAAL) held that there must be three.

The Court of Appeal confirms that when the CCP says that you have to have "three judges" on the panels that hears appeals, it really means "three." Not two. Three. Even if two judges are enough to issue a judgment.