Friday, April 22, 2016

J. McIntyre to retire & other hot appellate news

Judith McConnell, Administrative Presiding JusticeAPJ McConnell's presentation at the SDCBA program today (which was webcast) stated that Justice McIntyre will retire on June 30, the same date that Justice Rylaarsdam also will retire. And 4/1's Managing Attorney, Kim Stewart, will be retiring.

Other news: 4/1 is working on getting  better microphones so that oral argument recordings will improve. The Supremes will be hearing argument in San Diego on September 28 (in conjunction with the State Bar's Annual Meeting in San Diego). The court is looking for volunteer lawyers to work with high school students who will be attending. Panel attorneys will be getting a $10/hour raise. Felony appeals are up; civil appellate filings are flat. The median time in 4/1 from notice of appeal to decision is 467 days. E-filing is here & coming: 4/2 goes to e-filing in June; then 4/3 in August; then the 2d DCA by the end of the year; and finally the Supremes by June of 2017. The court also intends to eventually make actual documents available online. The Supremes will be webcasting arguments; the 5th DCA will be next; and then the 4th DCA.

4/2 cases are still being sent to 4/1 and 4/3. 4/2's PJ selects the cases (though 4/1 prefers not to take the big ones; but 4/3 is ok with jumbos).Last year, 215 cases were transferred; this year, 48 cases have been transferred so far (a half-half mix of civil and criminal cases). Also discussed was the potential impact on the Court of Appeal if there's a change to the death penalty. 4/1 has had Judge Ron Prager as a pro tem since September. 4/1 also sat at El Centro High School earlier this week. (The 3d DCA is hearing two cases at a local high school too, details here.)

Image result for judge mckeown
Image result for oscarJudge McKeown reported that all's well and calm at the Ninth. (Judge Wallace was at the program too.) Filings are down; the court is hopeful that Judge Koh will get a hearing soon. Judges Silverman and Clifton will take senior status this year. Judge McKeown also discussed how snippets of an oral argument used in the award-winning film Citizen Four accounts for why she (and Judges Pregerson and Hawkins) have IMDB pages! Sadly, the judges were not invited to the Academy Awards.

In the practice tips/pet peeves category: Using different fonts in briefs "makes my brain go squiggly"; good headings are really important; block quotes are actually ok when they are right on point (and better than hiding a key quote in a parenthetical).

Big thanks to the SDCBA Appellate Section for hosting this great event, and especially for webcasting it!