Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sede Vacante at the California Supreme Court

Professors Gerry Uelman and Kyle Graham's annual supreme Court column in California Lawyer is here, Sede Vacante at the California Supreme Court: Two departures promise change at the state's highest court. Apart from the Latin lesson ("Latin for 'vacant seat,' sede vacante is most often used to describe the period when no pope is presiding in Rome."), the article discusses "Kennard's Legacy" (calling her "somewhat quirky and unpredictable") and "Baxter's Influence" (calling him the anchor of the "conservative wing" and "a courtly gentleman" wearing velvet gloves to conceal his "iron fist.")

The dynamic duo (Uelman and Graham, not Kennard and Baxter) also awarded Justice Corrigan their award for the best majority opinion of the year (Duran v. U.S. National Bank Assn.) and for the worst majority opinion (People v. Elmore). Best dissenting opinion goes to Justice Chin (Long Beach Police Officers Assoc. v. City of Long Beach), and worst dissenting opinion to Justice Liu (Loeffler v. Target Corp.). See pages 28-29 for their explanations.